Nordic IC suits 2.4GHz-only IoT designs

  • June 21, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Nordic Semiconductor has introduced a Wifi 6 companion IC for products that only require 2.4GHz connectivity.

The nRF7001 complements the 2.4 and 5GHz capable nRF7002, lowering the materials cost for designs requiring single band capability for smart home, smart city, industrial automation and other low power wifi IoT applications.

The nRF70 series provides low-power, robust and secure wifi connectivity as well as wifi-assisted location finding based on service set identifier (SSID) scanning.

Like the nRF7002, the nRF7001 IC can be used together with the Norwegian fabless semiconductor company’s nRF52 and nRF53 multiprotocol systems-on-chip (SoCs) and the nRF9160 cellular IoT (LTE-M and NB-IoT) system-in-package (SiP). It can also be used with non-Nordic host devices.

“The nRF7001 is the perfect complement to the nRF7002 because it offers a drop-in, single band alternative to the dual-band companion IC for products that only need to operate in the 2.4GHz band,” said Ioannis Glaropoulos, technical product manager with Nordic Semiconductor. “The nRF7001 is designed to provide highly reliable 2.4GHz connectivity and offers all the wifi functionality of the nRF7002 – including compliance with the latest standard and power saving features – but at a lower cost. When matched with Nordic’s nRF52840 operating as a host processor, the nRF7001 offers cost effective yet high performance wifi.”

The IC supports station (STA), software emulated access point (SoftAP) and wifi direct operation, and is compatible with the IEEE 802.11b, a, g, n (Wifi 4), and ax (Wifi 6) standards. The product also offers coexistence with Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread and Zigbee.

It supports target wake time (TWT), a key Wifi 6 power saving feature. Interfacing with the nRF52840 or another host processor is done via SPI or quad SPI. The nRF7001 offers a single spatial stream, 20MHz channel bandwidth, 64 QAM (MCS7), OFDMA, up to 86Mbit/s phy throughput, and BSS colouring.

Developers can make a quick and easy start on nRF7001-based designs thanks to its support in the nRF Connect SDK, Nordic’s scalable and unified software development kit for building products based on the company’s wireless devices. To develop applications with nRF7001, the nRF7002 development kit can be used, as the nRF Connect SDK supports emulating the nRF7001 IC on that kit. The nRF7001, nRF7002 kit and the nRF Connect SDK make it simple for product designers to add 2.4GHz wifi capabilities to their products, allowing them to connect to nRF cloud services and communicate with other devices over a wifi network.

The nRF7001 companion IC and the nRF7002 development kit are available now from Nordic’s distributors.