Nordic Semiconductor unveils world’s first dual Arm Cortex-M33 processor wireless SoC for the most demanding low power IoT applications

Written by Mike Benson

January 13, 2020

The nRF5340 combines a high performance application processor with a fully programmable, ultra low power network processor, plus advanced root-of-trust and trusted execution security features, into a low power multiprotocol SoC ready for professional lighting, industrial automation, advanced wearables, and other complex IoT applications

The nRF5340 is the world’s first wireless SoC with two Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors. It is truly secure, and the combination of two flexible processors, the advanced feature set, and an operating temperature up to 105 °C, makes it the ideal choice for professional lighting, advanced wearables, and other complex IoT applications.

The nRF5340 is an all-in-one SoC, including a superset of the most prominent nRF52® Series features. Features like Bluetooth® 5.1, high-speed SPI, QSPI, USB, up to 105 °C operating temperature, and more, are combined with more performance, memory and integration, while minimizing current consumption.

The application processor is optimized for performance and can be clocked at either 128 or 64 MHz, using voltage-frequency scaling. It has 1 MB Flash, 512 KB RAM, a floating-point unit (FPU), an 8 KB 2-way associative cache and DSP instruction capabilities. The network processor is clocked at 64 MHz and is optimized for low power and efficiency (101 CoreMark/mA). It has 256 KB Flash and 64 KB RAM.

The nRF5340 is a truly secure SoC, offering trusted execution, root-of-trust and secure key storage security features. Arm TrustZone provides trusted execution by implementing a division between secure and non-secure Flash, RAM, peripherals and GPIOs. The state-of-the-art Arm CryptoCell-312 provides hardware-accelerated cryptography, and together with the key management unit (KMU) peripheral, root-of-trust and secure key storage are implemented.

The nRF5340 SoC supports an extensive range of wireless protocols. It supports Bluetooth Low Energy, and is capable of all AoA and AoD roles in Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding, in addition to all Bluetooth 5 features, including Long Range. Mesh protocols like Bluetooth mesh, Thread and Zigbee can be run concurrently with Bluetooth LE, enabling smartphones to provision, commission, configure and control mesh nodes. NFC, ANT, 802.15.4 and 2.4 GHz proprietary protocols are also supported.

The nRF Connect SDK is the software development kit for the nRF5340 SoC, offering a complete solution that integrates the Zephyr RTOS, protocol stacks, application samples and hardware drivers.

FEATURES

  • High-performance application processor
    • 128/64 MHz Arm Cortex-M33 with FPU & DSP instructions
    • 1 MB Flash + 512 KB RAM
    • 8 KB 2-way set associative cache
  • Fully-programmable network processor
    • 64 MHz Arm Cortex-M33 with 2 KB instruction cache
    • 256 KB Flash + 64 KB RAM
    • Ultra low power
  • A truly secure SoC
    • Trusted execution with Arm TrustZone
    • Root-of-trust with Arm CryptoCell-312
  • Ultra-low-power 2.4 GHz multiprotocol radio
    • Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding capable
    • Bluetooth 5 Long Range
    • Bluetooth mesh, Thread and Zigbee
    • 3.2 mA in TX (0 dBm) and 2.6 mA in RX
    • -97.5 dBm RX sensitivity
  • NFC
  • Full range of digital interfaces with EasyDMA
    • Full-speed USB
    • 96 MHz encrypted QSPI for external memory
    • 32 MHz high-speed SPI for displays and fast sensors
  • 105 °C extended operating temperature
  • 1.7-5.5 V supply voltage range

APPLICATIONS

  • Professional lighting
  • Industrial
  • Advanced wearables
  • Medical
  • Smart home
  • Asset tracking and RTLS

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