What is EYE on NPI? The acronym NPI stands for New Product Introduction and sometimes you’ll also see NPD (New Product Development). EYE on NPI will showcase, spotlight, and discuss the latest new products and announcements from the entire component industry. EYE on NPI will help engineers go from prototype to market and get important information on pricing and availability. The more you know, the more you can reduce time-to-market, the more you increase the quality of the product(s) and reduce production costs!
Adafruit releases dozens of new products per month. We live, eat, and breathe datasheets and we wanted to share our NPI process with everyone: how we get to market quickly, and what the latest NPIs are out there.
This week’s EYE ON NPI takes a peek at the new chips coming from Nordic Semi – makers of some great wireless chipsets and their new major chipset release, the nRF5340!
We’ve been huge fans of the nRF5 series, which has combined a powerful microcontroller and a 2.4GHz BLE radio. We started with the nRF51 which we’ve used in our popular Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE board, and then moved onto the nRF52 series which is used in the Circuit Playground Bluefruit. So naturally we’re very interested in the latest major version of this family – the nRF5340.
Please note: this is a really new NPI, so new that this part is an engineering sample and is not fully tested. There may be silicon bugs that will be fixed in the final release. Even if it’s not ready for mass manufacture, it’s a great time to start prototyping or developing with it.
According to Nordic:
The nRF5340 is the world’s first wireless SoC with two Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors. The nRF5340 is an all-in-one SoC, including a superset of the most prominent nRF52® Series features. Features like Bluetooth® Direction Finding, high-speed SPI, QSPI, USB, up to 105°C operating temperature, and more, are combined with more performance, memory and integration, while minimizing current consumption.
The application processor is optimized for performance and can be clocked at either 128 or 64 MHz, using voltage-frequency scaling. It has 1 MB Flash, 512 KB RAM, a floating-point unit (FPU), an 8 KB 2-way associative cache and DSP instruction capabilities. The network processor is clocked at 64 MHz and is optimized for low power and efficiency (101 CoreMark/mA). It has 256 KB Flash and 64 KB RAM.
The most interesting thing about this new chip is how powerful the processors are – they’ve upgraded the nRF52840’s Cortex-M4 to two M33’s, and doubled the max clock speed to 128 MHz. The second processor will be useful for products where you have very specific real-time requirements, as the Nordic radio software (SoftDevice) can interrupt user code to handle incoming packets. It’s better if you can dedicate one core to handling all radio requirements, and any secure/encryption/sync/
You can pick up nRF5340 chips right now from DigiKey, and don’t forget to also grab an nRF5340 preliminary dev kit as well. We’re a fan of the Nordic DK’s: they’re very complete and easy to use with built in J-Link program/debug, just-the-right-amount of peripherals, and power monitoring support, all for a really great price.
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