Nordic and Qorvo team up on dual-mode BLE and UWB for short-range IoT
Chipset makers Nordic Semiconductor and Qorvo have said they will collaborate on dual-mode IoT products running low-power short-range Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ultra wideband (UWB) technologies, they have announced.
The deal follows Qorvo’s acquisition of Ireland-based UWB pioneer Decawave in February. Decawave produces UWB solutions for mobile, automotive, and IoT applications.
Nordic and Qorvo have collaborated before on Nordic’s dual-mode nRF9160 system-in-package (SiP), running LTE-M and NB-IoT, which utilises Qorvo’s RF front-end, advanced packaging, and MicroShield technology. Meanwhile, Nordic’s nRF52832 system-on-chip (SoC) uses Decawave’s DWM1001C UWB and BLE module.
Future UWB/BLE products, jointly designed by the pair, will combine Qorvo’s UWB transceiver with Nordic’s nRF52833 SoC, a 105°C qualified Bluetooth 5.2 SoC supporting BLE, direction finding, and Bluetooth mesh.
BLE and UWB are considered to be complementary low-power short-range technologies suited to a wide range of consumer and industrial IoT applications, particularly those demanding precision location measurement and proximity awareness.
UWB was designed to provide micro-positioning accuracy in products including smartphones, the smart home, industrial asset tracking and automotive. BLE offers a mature software base, providing guaranteed UWB interoperability, as well as ultra-low TX and RX power consumption.
Nordic says its SoCs have been engineered to minimise power consumption and ‘wake up’ the UWB transceiver when needed, conserving power in critical asynchronous discovery/join scenarios.
David Fullwood, vice president of sales for mobile at Qorvo, said: “Nordic and Qorvo have built a solid partnership developing next generation cellular IoT solutions with combined expertise from both companies. Our collaboration on BLE and UWB will complement our partnership and accelerate the adoption of location-based technologies and services for a new generation of products.”
Geir Langeland, director of sales and marketing at Nordic Semiconductor, said: “Qorvo is the leader in RF front-ends for cellular IoT systems, and Nordic is the leader in low power cellular IoT and BLE. With the addition of UWB, our collaboration now covers three complementary technologies across a wide range of applications, enabling future innovations for customers across multiple industries.”