Nordic Semiconductor unveils dual Arm Cortex-M33 processor, wireless SoC for IoT applications

November 18, 2019 Perry Cohen

Nordic Semiconductor released the nRF5340 high-end multi-protocol System-on-Chip (SoC), the first member of its next generation of nRF5 Series SoCs, the company announced in a press release. The nRF5340 builds on Nordic’s nRF51 and nRF52 Series multi-protocol SoCs while introducing a new flexible, dual-processor hardware architecture with advanced security features. The nRF5340 supports RF protocols including Bluetooth 5.1/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), Bluetooth mesh, Thread, and Zigbee.

The nRF5340 SoC is designed for extended operating temperature up to 105oC. Further, the SoC meets the demands of next generation sophisticated wearables with its application processor matched to a 512 KB of RAM. The QSPI peripheral is augmented to interface with external memory at 96 MHz, and a 32 MHz High Speed SPI peripheral is integrated to interface with displays and complex sensors.

nRF5340 incorporates Arm CryptoCell-312, Arm TrustZone technology, and Secure Key Storage for heightened security. With Arm CryptoCell-312 the most common Internet encryption standards are hardware accelerated and Arm TrustZone provides system-wide hardware isolation for software by creating secure and non-secure code execution areas on a single core. 

The nRF5340 is based around dual Arm Cortex-M33 processors; a high performance application processor running up to 128 MHz (510 CoreMark) with dedicated 1 MB Flash and 512 KB RAM, and a fully programmable, ultra low power network processor running at 64 MHz (238 CoreMark) with dedicated 256 KB Flash and 64 KB RAM. The application processor is efficient (65 CoreMark/mA), has an 8 KB 2-way associative cache; is DSP and floating point capable; and offers voltage and frequency scaling options.

It incorporates a new, power-optimized multi-protocol 2.4 GHz radio with a TX current of 3.2 mA (0 dBm TX power, 3 V, DC/DC) and RX current of 2.6 mA (3 V, DC/DC). Sleep current is as low as 1.1 µA.

nRF Connect SDK is publicly hosted on GitHub, offers source code management with Git and comes with free SEGGER Embedded Studio IDE support

For more information on nRF5340, please visit https://www.nordicsemi.com/Products/Low-power-short-range-wireless/nRF5340

About the Author

Perry Cohen

Perry Cohen, associate editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content editing and creation in addition to podcast production. He also assists with the publication’s social media efforts which include strategic posting, follower engagement, and social media analysis. Before joining the ECD editorial team, Perry has been published on both local and national news platforms including KTAR.com (Phoenix), ArizonaSports.com (Phoenix), AZFamily.com, Cronkite News, and MLB/MiLB among others. Perry received a BA in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State university. He can be reached by email at perry.cohen@opensysmedia.com Follow Perry’s work and ECD content on his twitter account @pcohen21

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