The introduction of Zigbee support further extends Nordic’s low power, short range connectivity portfolio, which includes solutions for Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth mesh, and Thread.
Nordic Semiconductor today announces its first Zigbee wireless connectivity solution for use with the nRF52840 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC). The first engineering release is available now with a production grade Zigbee 3.0-certified release planned for the second half of 2018. The introduction of the Zigbee solution expands Nordic’s portfolio of mesh networking products (including Bluetooth mesh and Thread) for smart home, enterprise, and industry. As with Nordic’s other mesh solutions, the nRF52840 SoC with the S140 v6.0 SoftDevice (“stack”) can support concurrent Zigbee and Bluetooth® 5/Bluetooth Low Energy operation.
Nordic’s multiprotocol solution for the nRF52840 SoC enables use cases that take advantage of several wireless technologies. Examples include interaction with a Zigbee smart lighting network from a smartphone via Bluetooth 5, or a Zigbee security network using Bluetooth beacons for location identification. The SDK includes several examples including concurrent operation of Zigbee and Bluetooth 5 for a smart light bulb and switch.
Zigbee is a global, standards-based wireless solution that takes advantage of the IEEE 802.15.4 PHY and operates globally in 2.4GHz unlicensed bands (and other frequency bands in some geographical zones). Raw data throughput rates of 250kbps can be achieved at 2.4GHz (16 channels) and transmission distances range from 10 to 100 meters, depending on power output and environmental characteristics. The technology supports large mesh networks (which allow nodes to relay messages to other nodes) and low power operation for extending battery life.
Established in 2002, the Zigbee Alliance is a non-profit association of members that has created a thriving global ecosystem. The Zigbee Alliance states that the technology is a global, standards-based wireless solution that can conveniently and affordably control the widest range of devices to improve comfort, security, and convenience for consumers. It is the technology of choice for world-leading service providers, installers and retailers who bring the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the smart home.
“Our membership is privileged to gain Nordic’s valuable industry insight and expertise. We are excited to welcome them, and work with them towards certification on their first Zigbee platform,” says Victor Berrios, VP Technology for the Zigbee Alliance. “By adding Zigbee to its new software development kit, Nordic is expanding the reach of its product while providing additional design choice for IoT product manufacturers.”
“Nordic’s strategy is to support the leading standards-based low power wireless protocols on its silicon and through its development tools,” says Geir Langeland, Nordic’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “Zigbee is one of those leading standards, particularly in the home and industrial automation sector, so we are pleased to soon offer a certified, concurrent support solution for Zigbee and Bluetooth 5 on our high-end multiprotocol chip to provide developers with complete flexibility in their wireless IoT designs.”