Nordic Semiconductor ASA, a fabless semiconductor company, has launched nRFready Desktop 2 reference design,a full Bluetooth low energy, including Bluetooth Smart, and proprietary 2.4GHz wireless mouse and keyboard combo reference design.
The nRFready Desktop 2 reference design extends the company's existing Bluetooth low energy and 2.4GHz proprietary nRFready Desktop (1.x) reference designs to include simultaneous support for both Bluetooth low energy and (or) proprietary 2.4GHz wireless technology by employing Nordic's latest game-changing single chip nRF51822 multi-protocol Bluetooth low energy / 2.4GHz proprietary RF SoC (System-on-Chip), the company said.
Bluetooth low energy reduces power consumption by up to 10x compared to Classic Bluetooth wireless technology in the PC peripherals arena, supporting the use of smaller and lighter AAA instead of AA batteries, and operating lifetimes of up to 1-year plus.
The nRFready Desktop 2 also supports NFC (Near Field Communication) proximity pairing. In operation, NFC uses a secondary ('Out-of-Band' or 'OOB') 13.56MHz wireless link to conduct the pairing process in a way that does not require extensive input from the end user. Microsoft's latest Windows 8 operating system has native support for OOB pairing using Near Field Communication (NFC), and the nRFready Desktop 2 includes an NFC solution that enables demonstration and exploration of NFC pairing as well as other NFC features for HID (Human Interface Device) functionality.
This makes it an ideal staring point for developing next generation wireless keyboard and mouse designs, independent of technology trends and choices, while providing full backward compatibility with previous Nordic-based 2.4GHz proprietary designs based on the nRFready Desktop 1.2 (or later) and Nordic Gazell software protocol (including those based on Nordic nRF24L Series). This will allow customers to upgrade their existing products to enjoy the full benefits of the latest Nordic RF technology.
The nRFready Desktop 2 also allows desktop peripheral manufacturers to release products into the market that can simultaneously and adaptively support both Bluetooth low energy and Nordic's proprietary 2.4GHz Gazell protocol in a single product, without the need for any firmware changes.
Gazell is a proprietary low-power protocol developed by Nordic Semiconductor for HID peripherals that target challenging 2.4GHz RF operating environments with numerous 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and other 2.4GHz wireless systems operating in close proximity.
"By combining Bluetooth low energy with Nordic's proprietary Gazell protocol in one solution customers are freed to develop hybrid ultra low power mice and keyboard products that automatically choose which protocol stack to use depending on the capabilities of the host system," comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing.
Langeland adds: "This enables the development of single product lines based on world-leading Nordic RF technology that can work with both the latest Bluetooth v4.0 [including Bluetooth Smart Ready] computers as well as older PCs that can only support ultra low power wireless peripherals via the use of a proprietary USB dongle."