Low energy concurrent combo chip solution

18 September 2012

Making seamless ANT+ and Bluetooth low energy connectivity to smartphones, tablets and PCs a reality
Making seamless ANT+ and Bluetooth low energy connectivity to smartphones, tablets and PCs a reality

Making seamless ANT+ and Bluetooth low energy connectivity to smartphones, tablets and PCs a reality.

Ultra low power (ULP) RF company Nordic Semiconductor ASA and ANT Wireless, a division of Dynastream Innovations Inc., have announced the joint development of a multi-protocol ANT+ and Bluetooth low energy combo single chip solution.

The new IC will join Nordic Semiconductor's recently released nRF51 Series and complement the company's already released standalone nRF51822 Bluetooth low energy and nRF51422 ANT+ SoCs with an additional SoC that supports both technologies concurrently.

ANT+ is one of the most important interoperable ULP wireless technologies in the world, with over 30 million ANT+ devices in the market and a particular strength in the sports and fitness and health and wellness segments. Proven application examples include bicycle power, bicycle speed and cadence, fitness equipment, stride-based speed and distance, multi-sport speed and distance, blood pressure, heart rate monitoring, weight scales, geocaching, audio control, fitness equipment, light electric vehicles, and environment (temperature) control.

In parallel there has been a rapid adoption of Bluetooth low energy in the smartphone, tablet and PC space including the Apple iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X; Samsung Galaxy SIII; and Microsoft Windows 8.

The upcoming nRF51 Series ANT+ and Bluetooth low energy multi-protocol combo solution will enable designers to create products that use wireless ecosystems while paying no cost or size penalty for having two separate radios in their products.

“We’re excited to pass this huge cross-platform advancement with the choice for superior functionality on to manufacturers, brands, and ultimately the consumer,” states Rod Morris, VP, Dynastream. “As radio technology becomes more integrated and silicon becomes smaller, the high efficiencies of ANT+ allow us to combine multi protocols and multi functions. ANT+ functionality is already natively integrated into many smartphones and portable devices. By providing access to Bluetooth low energy, the 30 million available ANT+ products will now be enabled to interact with all smartphones and portable devices."

Thomas Embla Bonnerud, Director of Product Management at Nordic Semiconductor, added: “Multi-protocol combo solutions were one of the key drivers behind the development of our new nRF51 Series ICs and we are delighted to announce this joint development with ANT Wireless. We believe this new combo solution will represent the ‘ultimate’ solution for ultra-low power wireless connectivity as it's all about maximising the accessible ecosystem for new products. With this combo solution customers can build products that tap into both ANT+ and Bluetooth low energy with ease.”

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