High Performance Bluetooth Module for Short Range Radio Applications

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The Bluetooth module is optimal for handling industrial and smart applications while offering robust security

u-blox has announced the launch of the NORA-B1 Bluetooth module, the newest member in the company’s short-range radio portfolio. Based on Nordic Semiconductor’s latest nRF5340 Bluetooth low energy chipset (the first to host a powerful Arm Cortex M33 dual-core MCU), the NORA-B1 meets the needs of applications in areas such as industrial, medical, smart building and smart city markets.

By taking advantage of the chipset’s dual-core MCU, NORA-B1 can handle performance-oriented applications and even drive a display without requiring an external host processer, thus enabling engineers to get the maximum value out of a single component. With a low-power-optimised core dedicated to managing network connectivity and a second high-performance core exclusively running the device application, NORA-B1 enables smooth and uninterrupted operation with minimal processing latency.

Secure Execution

The Arm TrustZone offers enhanced security, enabling a trusted execution environment by fully separating secure and non-secure Flash, RAM, peripherals and GPIOs. The module also comes with the state-of-the-art Arm CryptoCell-312, which provides hardware-accelerated cryptography and, in combination with the key management unit (KMU), delivers root of trust and secure key storage.

Compact, extensively qualified, and globally certified, NORA-B1 brings the full promise of Bluetooth 5.2 to wireless applications, while also supporting ZigBee and Thread. LE audio, which can concurrently stream multiple channels with lower power consumption than existing technology, brings a major upgrade to audio data transmission.

The combination of the dual-core MCU, enhanced security and Bluetooth 5.2 makes the NORAB1 module a natural fit for a wide range of wireless applications. These include industrial machine control, asset tracking, remote controls and gateways, connected power tools requiring continuous motor control, and advanced medical wearables with demanding security requirements.

Reduced Complexity

The new NORA footprint, which measures only 10.4 x 14.3 x 1.8 mm, provides ease of routing with reduced host board complexity, resulting in cost savings for the end-user. It will be available in several antenna variants, including a compact PCB antenna. Qualified for an extended temperature range up to 105 degrees Celsius, NORA-B1 can operate reliably in harsh environments that are common in industrial settings as well as in smart indoor and outdoor lighting.

“Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF5340 chipset brings Bluetooth-enabled connectivity to a new, more demanding class of applications, not only in terms of computing power but also in terms of security,” says Pelle Svensson, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Short Range Radio, at u-blox. “We designed the NORA-B1 to make it easy for product developers to tap into the opportunities it offers.”

“u-blox has succeeded in offering a high-quality integration of our latest nRF5340 chipset into their NORA-B1 module series, leveraging its dual-core MCU to boost performance capabilities and utilizing its assets to deliver enhanced security,” said Alf Helge Omre, Global Business Development Manager at Nordic Semiconductor.

Customers will be able to obtain the device samples in Q4 2020.


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