Bluetooth 5.2 SoC in WLCSP optimized for two-layer PCB design

Nordic Semiconductor announces the nRF52805 Bluetooth 5.2 System-on-Chip (SoC), the seventh addition to its popular and proven nRF52 Series. The nRF52805 is an ultra low power Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) SoC supplied in a wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP) measuring just 2.48 x 2.46mm.

The WLCSP SoC is optimized for two-layer PCB designs – eliminating the need for more expensive four-layer PCBs to significantly cut costs in compact, budget-constrained designs. The SoC is capable of Bluetooth LE high-throughput 2 Mbps and enhanced Channel Selection Algorithm #2 (CSA #2) for improved coexistence. 

The nRF52805 features a powerful 64-MHz 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 processor (144 CoreMark) with excellent efficiency (65 CoreMark/mA) and includes 192KB Flash plus 24KB RAM. The multiprotocol (Bluetooth LE/2.4GHz) radio offers up to +4dBm power output and -97dBm sensitivity (1 Mbps Bluetooth LE) for a link budget of 101dBm. The radio’s peak power draw is only 4.6mA (TX 0dBM, RX 1Mbps) and the SoC’s current draw is as low as 0.3µA in System OFF and 1.1µA in System ON with 24KB RAM retained and RTC running.

The SoC features a range of analog and digital interfaces such as SPI, UART, and TWI, a two-channel 12-bit ADC, and ten GPIOs. Nordic offers a 9.5 x 8.8mm reference layout with all ten GPIOs available, which requires only ten external passive components (including two crystal load capacitors). The SoC can be powered from a 1.7 to 3.6V supply and integrates LDO and DC/DC voltage regulators. Because the nRF52805 WLCSP measures just 2.48 x 2.46mm and is optimized for two-layer PCBs, it enables designs that are small and low cost, attributes that are typically a design trade-off since small designs usually require four-layer PCBs which are significantly more expensive. This makes the SoC an ideal Bluetooth LE solution for high-volume, compact wireless applications such as styluses, presenters, sensors, beacons, disposable medical products, and network processors set ups.   

The nRF52805 is currently supported by the S112 SoftDevice and support for the S113 SoftDevice follows soon. The S112 and S113 SoftDevices (Bluetooth 5.1-qualified protocol software) are memory-optimized peripheral “stacks” which support high-throughput 2 Mbps and CSA #2 features. The stacks support up to four connections as a Peripheral concurrently with a Broadcaster. In addition, the number of connections and bandwidth per connection is configurable, enabling memory and performance optimization. Both the S112 and S113 also support LE Secure Connections, improving security compared to LE Legacy Pairing. S113 also supports LE Data Packet Length Extension, resulting in higher throughput and less overhead per packet. A guide is available explaining how to use the nRF52805 with Nordic’s nRF5 SDK (Software Development Kit).

The nRF52 Development Kit (DK) can be used to emulate the nRF52805 and is a good hardware basis to start designs before moving over to a custom development board. “The nRF52805 extends the proven nRF52 Series family with a Bluetooth 5.2 solution in a WLCSP optimized for budget-constrained two-layer PCB designs,” says Kjetil Holstad, Director of Product Management with Nordic Semiconductor.

“The SoC brings a rare combination of size and cost enabling manufacturers to extend the nRF52 Series’ maturity and reliability to a whole new range of tiny and inexpensive wireless peripheral designs.” The nRF52805 is now in volume production. The SoC is available in a 2.48 x 2.46mm WLCSP with 10 GPIOs.

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