ARM and Nordic Semiconductor partner to develop Bluetooth low energy-enabled devices

ARM and Nordic Semiconductor have announced an agreement to incorporate Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solutions with the ARM mbed IoT device development platform. The collaboration is intended to enable developers to quickly and easily create new Bluetooth-connected devices and applications that leverage Nordic’s system on chips (SoCs) which are based on the ARM Cortex-M processor series.

As ARM mbed helps the Internet of Things to become a reality, there is a significant opportunity for ultra-low power Bluetooth chips that connect intelligent products with their owners’ smartphones and tablets, and can run for years on small batteries at cost-sensitive price points. This agreement will help to drive the innovation and deployment of BLE-enabled devices in a variety of growth markets including wearables, mobile accessories, fitness, toys, healthcare and consumer electronics.

“There is an immense market opportunity to connect new generations of physical devices such as toys and wearables with mobile devices, and shape the interactive user experience,” commented Nick Hunn, chief technology officer at WiFore. “A key piece of technology enabling this growth will be Bluetooth Low Energy. Nordic Semiconductor provides the right solutions to address these hardware needs, and with support from the ARM mbed platform and development ecosystem, they will open their technology up to a vast new developer audience who can realize the potential of this technology.”

Having pioneered the ultra-low power (ULP) wireless sector in the 2000s, Nordic has developed ULP wireless chips that can run for long years on small batteries, which are the size of watch batteries. These chips are already found in products such as wireless PC peripherals, gaming controllers, sports and fitness sensors, advanced multi-media controllers, and digital/satellite TV (set-top box) remote controls.

ARM mbed is a collaborative project providing hardware and software building blocks to developers for rapid development of ARM-based intelligent connected devices. This includes commercially friendly open-source code for microcontrollers, radios, peripherals, middleware and cloud services. By supporting Nordic’s ARM-based Bluetooth SoCs and extending the platform to support Bluetooth smart APIs, ARM mbed allows developers to rapidly create Bluetooth connected products, demonstrate proof-of-concept and move quickly to high-volume production of devices.

“Nordic’s ultra-low power, wireless SoCs will help bring to life the next generation of internet-connected devices. ARM wants to give developers broad access to solutions that fuel the innovation and exciting diversity of devices that will characterize the Internet of Things,” said John Cornish, executive vice president and general manager, System Design Division, ARM. “ARM will continue to work with its partners to ensure that the right ecosystem of tools and technology is in place for a diverse professional developer audience to create smart, connected products.”

“The Internet of Things will be powered by small, ultra low power SoCs that need to be cost-effective for the consumer opportunities, and this agreement brings together two technology leaders to get these solutions into developers’ hands more efficiently,” said Svenn Tore Larsen, chief executive officer, Nordic Semiconductor. “We are excited to be teaming with ARM to deliver important BLE solutions based on the industry-standard Cortex-M processor family through the mbed platform, so that developers can move quickly to innovate with this technology.”


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