Nordic Semiconductor to show advanced wireless solutions at CES



Nordic Semiconductor will demonstrate the capabilities of its Bluetooth 5-compatible nRF52 Series SoCs at CES 2017

Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA announced it will demonstrate Bluetooth low energy- (including Bluetooth 5) and IEEE 802.15.4-enabled technologies at International CES 2017.The company is also confirming details of exhibits, demonstrations, and design partner companies it will be hosting on its booth (#44744 in Sands A-D, Sands Exhibition Hall) at CES. CES is the world's leading consumer electronics exhibition and is organized by the U.S.-based Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The event will be held in Las Vegas, NV, from January 5 to 8, 2017.

Among the exhibits is a demonstration of how Nordic's nRF52 Series Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) are increasingly being used at the heart of wearable contactless payment technology. The demonstration shows a Bluetooth low energy wearable using the nRF52832 SoC's Near Field Communication (NFC) interface for payment. Using the SoC's NFC capability for this purpose simplifies the product's design, lowers cost, and reduces space requirements.

Nordic will also show how it is helping advance AirFuel resonant wireless charging. The company will unveil wireless charging in a small form factor technology demonstrator with a wearable device that uses an nRF52832 SoC to implement a AirFuel Power Receive Unit (PRU).

Nordic will also showcase two home-automation demonstrations, one using Bluetooth low energy and the other using a Thread network based on the IEEE 802.15.4 low power wireless network standard. The latter demonstration will employ the nRF52840 SoC (and associated Development Kit), Nordic's latest addition to its nRF52 Series. The SoC is a multiprotocol, ultra low power wireless connectivity solution supporting Bluetooth 5, IEEE 802.15.4, ANT+, and 2.4GHz proprietary RF protocols.

In addition, Nordic will demonstrate the capabilities of the nRF52840 SoC and S140 SoftDevice (Nordic's latest RF protocol 'stack') - including the range and throughput enhancements of Bluetooth 5. The SoC and SoftDevice have been engineered to build on the mature architecture of the existing nRF52 Series SoCs to support complex Bluetooth low energy and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. (See "About nRF52840" below.)

Other demonstrations include the 'nRFready Smart Remote 3 for nRF52 Series' reference design targeting remote control OEMs/ODMs and manufacturers of smart TVs, set-top boxes, and digital media devices; the Power Profiler Kit, a low-cost and simple method to measure dynamic power consumption in embedded solutions; and a candy dispenser remotely controlled via Bluetooth low energy and the Physical Web (to avoid the need for a smartphone app installation).

Companies using Nordic's award-winning nRF51 and nRF52 Series multiprotocol wireless connectivity solutions (see "About nRF52832" below) will also demonstrate and talk about their products on the booth. The partner companies and their demonstration are listed below:

January 5 (Thursday)

CA Engineering will be displaying its Secure/Remote Access (S/RA) Tunnel which provides direct and remote access to HomeKit-enabled Bluetooth low energy accessories such as a Yale Lock. The S/RA Tunnel receives commands over a Wi-Fi link and then 'tunnels' the commands to Bluetooth low energy accessories in a personal area network;
Tapptek will be showing a beer tap that uses Bluetooth low energy to communicate with customers' mobiles. Via the wireless connection gamification, marketing and messaging, loyalty and promotions are possible.

January 6 (Friday)

EnOcean will be unveiling a batteryless Bluetooth low energy switch module with NFC. The device expands the company's energy-harvesting wireless sensor solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). The PTM 215B module enables the development of self-powered switching-applications for Bluetooth low energy lighting;
Vitamix is a manufacturer of high-performance blending equipment for domestic and commercial use and will be introducing the Ascent Series, which represents the company's most significant new product introduction for two decades.

January 7 (Saturday)

ConnectSense will be demonstrating two sensors supporting Apple HomeKit. Users can monitor and control the sensors from their smartphone via a Bluetooth low energy connection. The ConnectSense Temperature & Humidity Sensor monitors sensitive home areas and the ConnectSense Smart Water Sensor detects water before it causes damage;
Plezmo will be showing its platform of intelligent Bluetooth low energy devices and easy-to-use coding apps to learn, play, and innovate with technology. Plezmo empowers kids to bring their innovative and personally meaningful ideas to life. While they focus on realizing their ideas, they are developing logical thinking and coding skills.

January 8 (Sunday)

Nxt-ID will be showcasing IOT Stamp, an 'intelligently connected' module small enough to fit within any device like the wearable payment band displayed on the booth. The intelligently-connected devices communicate via Bluetooth low energy to provide collaborative services, while only connecting to the Internet when required to reduce power consumption;
Staaker will be demonstrating the Staaker follow drone. The drone is portable, fast, and has up to 30 min flight time. The drone has a sophisticated and precise 'follow' technology that ensures the user is always in the frame.

"Wearable devices incorporating payment solutions, wireless charging of smaller products such as smartwatches, and voice-activated remote control are among the highlights on the Nordic booth at CES 2017," says Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. "These demonstrations have been specially selected because developers are keen find out how to add such capabilities to their next generation of Bluetooth low energy wearables.

"Nordic's highly-integrated nRF52 Series SoCs and development tools enable them to do just that. Better yet, the recently introduced nRF52840 SoC-fully compatible with Bluetooth 5-brings with it the extra performance, unique security features, and extended throughput and range to cope with the most ambitious applications developers can dream up."

Payment solutions using NFC contactless technology are on the rise. According to a recent North American payment survey by Accenture Consulting, in 2015, 52 percent of consumers said that they are "extremely aware" of mobile payments and 19 percent of US consumers use their mobile's NFC capability to regularly make payments. Wireless charging is seeing similarly rapid growth. Analyst IHS, for example, reports that wireless charging receiver market grew more than 160 percent in 2015 over the previous year, as annual global shipments reached 144 million units. Annual shipment volume is expected to top one billion units by 2020.

International CES boasts more than four decades of success. At the 2016 event 177,393 attendees gathered in Las Vegas to see 3,887 exhibitors showcasing leading technology across 229,500m2 of exhibit space.

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