Dual Arm Cortex-M33 wireless SoC for low power applications

November 15, 2019 //By Ally Winning
Nordic Semiconductor has launched the first device in its next generation of nRF5 Series SoCs - a high-end multiprotocol SoC for ultra-low-power wireless applications.
Nordic Semiconductor has launched the first device in its next generation of nRF5 Series SoCs - a high-end multiprotocol SoC for ultra-low-power wireless applications.

The nRF5340 introduces a flexible, dual-processor hardware architecture with advanced security features. The nRF5340 supports RF protocols including Bluetooth 5.1/Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, and Zigbee. It has been designed for operating temperature up to 105 oC and to meet the demands of next-generation wearables with a high-performance application processor matched to 512 KB RAM. The QSPI interface can access external memory at 96 MHz, and a 32 MHz High-Speed SPI interface is available to connect with displays and complex sensors.

The nRF5340 integrates Arm CryptoCell-312, Arm TrustZone technology, and Secure Key Storage. Arm CryptoCell-312 brings hardware acceleration to common Internet encryption standards and Arm TrustZone gives creates secure and non-secure code execution areas on a single core. The combined security features allow advanced root-of-trust and secure firmware updates while protecting the SoC from malicious attack.

The nRF5340 is centred on dual Arm Cortex-M33 processors running at up to 128 MHz (510 CoreMark) with 1 MB Flash and 512 KB RAM, and a programmable ultra-low-power network processor at 64 MHz (238 CoreMark) with 256 KB Flash and 64 KB RAM. The application processor operates at 65 CoreMark/mA, has 8 KB 2-way associative cache, is DSP and floating-point capable and offers voltage and frequency scaling options. It integrates the Arm Cryptocell-312, Arm TrustZone, and Secure Key Storage and a wide range of interface peripherals including NFC, USB, QSPI, and High-Speed SPI. The network processor operates at 101 CoreMark/mA and is optimised for low power during radio operation and low duty-cycle sensor data collection. Programmable access to the network processor offers optimal implementation of proprietary 2.4 GHz protocols, ensuring portability from the nRF51 and nRF52 Series.

The nRF5340 features a new, power-optimised multiprotocol 2.4 GHz radio with a TX current of 3.2 mA (0 dBm TX power, 3 V, DC/DC) and RX current of 2.6 mA (3 V, DC/DC). Sleep current is as low as 1.1 µA. The SoC has


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