Canada based I-SYST has come up with a tiny nRF52840 module that is as small as a fingernail. Named BLYST840, the module has 46 I/O, 1 MB flash, 256 kB RAM, is ready for Bluetooth 5.2, is Thread, and ZigBee capable, NFC-enabled, comes with built-in security measures and supports MicroPython. The nRF52840 ARM Cortex-M4F module is feature-rich with ultra-low-power SoM that makes it easy to integrate into various projects and IoT hardware.
BLYST840 module is designed in a way that no extra PCB space or any external components are required on the user’s application board for the full functionality of the nRF52840. The features and specifications of BLYST840 module:
- It has a Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 controller with 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F, 64 MHz, 1 MB flash, and 256 KB RAM (RAM mapped FIFO using EasyDMA).
- All 46 I/O pins are exposed via pads around the edges of the module. It has QSPI/SPI/2-wire/I2S/PDM/QDEC, Programmable Peripheral Interface – PPI, High-speed SPI interface 32 MHz, Quad SPI interface 32 MHz, easyDMA for all digital interfaces and 2.0 USB (12 Mbits) which is built-in inductors as a DC/DC converter for USB powering and has termination resistors for reliable communications.
- Its wireless protocols include Bluetooth 5.2 ready with high throughput i.e. up to 2 Mbps. It has long-range sensitivity: -96 dBm, advertising extensions, improved coexistence (CSA #2), Bluetooth Low Energy (Up to 111 dB link budget), Bluetooth Mesh, IEEE 802.15.4 radio support, Thread, Zigbee, NFC-A.
- The nRF52840 is a Thread-certified component and as such is ideal for home networking products using the Thread mesh stack. The radio supports 802.15.4 PHY and MAC layers and makes it suitable for additional stacks using 802.15.4 such as Zigbee
- Wireless reception takes place through a built-in ceramic antenna. It is programmable output power from +8 dBm to -20 dBm, has high-precision RSSI, Quadrature demodulator, 2-bit/200K SPS ADC
- It has ARM TrustZone Cryptocell 310, 128-bit AES/ECB/CCM/AAR co-processor for security. Cryptocell offers a wide range of ciphers and security features to build solid security into applications from the ground up. The use of Cryptocell also makes associated security operations run faster and uses less processing time and power than equivalent operation carried out in software by the CPU.
- It uses MicroPython software, IOsonata open-source multi-architecture multi-platform object-oriented design library, Eclipse IDE, Nordic SDKs
- It has flexible power configurations for USB power or low voltage/battery power, wide supply voltage range 1.7 V to 5.5 V, regulated supply for external components up to 25 mA, built-in inductors for low power DC/DC mode and built-in 32 MHz & 32.768 MHz crystal for low power.
- The module has fingertip size dimensions (14 x 9 x 1.6 mm). Besides, it is FCC, IC & CE certified and can be integrated into product design without wireless certification.
- The chip on the module has NFC-A tag support. Out-of-Band (OOB) pairing using NFC simplifies the process of authenticated pairing between two Bluetooth devices by exchanging authentication information over an NFC link.
The Additional package includes USB dongles with UDG-NRF52840 & UDG-NRF52840C). There is one male USB port - either USB Type-A or Type-C. The USB boot loader is preloaded allowing firmware upload using the [Nordic nRFConnect Desktop software tool], one user-defined pushbutton, one reset switch, one user-definable LED, one Tag-Connect programming port to be used with the IDAP-Link in conjunction with a Tag-Connect cable, seven GPIO routed to castellated holes (10 GPIO for Type-C version).
Another option is the IBK-NRF52840 breakout board with easier access to all I/Os via unpopulated 2.54mm pitch headers, two user buttons, three USB LEDs, and a Micro USB port for power and programming. There’s also an SWD/JTAG port for programming, battery power is supported (1.8 to 3.6V), and just like for the USB dongle, the module is preloaded with a USB bootloader firmware.