What this potentially offers developers, highlights Nordic, is that wireless systems using the nRF52840 SoC can now be interoperable with a Bluetooth v4.0+ wireless device, bridging both networks.
“In operation, the nRF52840 can effectively work as a bridge between Thread and Bluetooth 5 networks, and can communicate with, for example, both a smartphone over Bluetooth 5, and a Thread wireless sensor, enabling data to be exchanged between them without going via the Cloud,” says Pär Håkansson, a Product Marketing Manager at Nordic Semiconductor.
“Although this isn’t a truly simultaneous connection,” adds Håkansson, “Nordic’s R&D teams have engineered the process to be so quick and seamless that developers can consider it as practically simultaneous when designing their applications. Better yet, all the ‘heavy lifting’ to support this connectivity is hidden within the lower-level drivers of the Nordic S140 v5 SoftDevice eliminating the need for developers to have to worry about it.”
Nordic Semi launched its first Thread software design kit back in March, which uses the IEEE 802.15.4 PHY support in the firm’s nRF52840 chip. Called nRF5 SDK, it includes firmware-update-over-Thread.
Bluetooth 5 was formally adopted in December 2016, seeing it quadrupling its range and doubling its speed, along with an eight times increase in broadcast message sizes.