Nordic Semiconductor launches 'nRFready Smart Remote 2' reference design

Paul Boughton
Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor has announced the nRFready Smart Remote 2, a complete hardware and software reference design. It employs Nordic's class-leading nRF51822 multi-protocol SoC to offer simultaneous single chip Bluetooth low energy (a hallmark feature of the latest Bluetooth v4.0 specification and including Bluetooth Smart) and Nordic 2.4GHz proprietary Gazell RF protocol support for advanced browsing control of the latest Internet- and Web 2.0-enabled TVs and set-top boxes (STBs).

Prime application examples include audio, video, gaming, web browsing, social media, and online shopping, where an essential ingredient to the success and adoption of these services by end users is the remote control, which can spell the difference between frustration and a rich, intuitive, and engaging end-user experience.

Designed specifically to deliver the latter, the nRFready Smart Remote 2 features a multi-touch enabled TouchPad from Synaptics, a miniaturized QWERTY keyboard, a 6-axis motion sensing solution from Invensense, and an ultra low power accelerometer from STMicroelectronics.[Page Break]

The inclusion of Nordic's latest nRF51822 multi-protocol SoC (see 'About nRF51822' below) allows remote control manufacturers to bring products to market that can simultaneously and adaptively support Bluetooth low energy (via the HID over GATT profile) and proprietary 2.4GHz wireless technology in the same product form factor, using identical data formats over the wireless link to minimize design complexity, and without requiring any firmware changes.

This offers developers a high level of commercial protection against future consumer technology trends by allowing them to offer a maximum range of alternative options to their customers. And leveraging Nordic's latest Bluetooth low energy/2.4GHz proprietary nRF51822 SoC also ensures a class-leading RF performance, ultra low power consumption, and excellent cost efficiencies.

The nRFready Smart Remote 2 reference design even features an IR (Infrared) LED that can be used to add support for legacy IR-controlled equipment too.[Page Break]

"Internet-enabled smart TVs, set-top boxes and their supporting TV-based apps are what consumers want," comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. "But navigating and controlling these devices with a traditional IR remote can be frustrating, slow, and annoying - which isn't helping consumer adoption and use."

Langeland continues: "Smart RF remotes are the solution that consumers are crying out for and with this latest nRFready Smart Remote 2 reference design Nordic is making it as easy as possible for consumers to get what they want from the world's leading consumer electronics companies and their remote control [ODM] development partners."

The nRFready Smart Remote 2 reference design kit includes a Nordic Smart Remote baseboard, Smart Remote 2.4GHz RF radio module, 2.4GHz RF USB dongle, programming adapter, and a complete set of design files, software source code, and supporting documentation.
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