Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA has announced the introduction of “nRF5 SDK for Mesh”, a Software Development Kit (SDK) which allows engineers to develop with Bluetoothmesh. The launch of the SDK coincides with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s (SIG) formal adoption of Bluetooth mesh 1.0.
nRF5 SDK for Mesh can be downloaded from Nordic’s website and includes the company’s first release of its Bluetooth mesh software protocol (“stack”). The SDK is compatible with the nRF51 and nRF52 series Systems-on-Chip (SOCs), and the S110, S130, and S132 Bluetooth 4.0-compatible SoftDevices (Nordic’s Bluetooth low energy stacks). With the nRF5 SDK for Mesh, developers who already have a Nordic nRF52 Development Kit (DK) can immediately start building Bluetooth mesh-based applications.
Bluetooth mesh extends Bluetooth low energy wireless connectivity to multinode applications in consumer, smart home, and industrial applications. The technology is an ideal solution, for example, for enterprise lighting installations covering large areas. With Bluetooth mesh, users will be able to instantly and simultaneously control up to hundreds of Bluetooth low energy-equipped lights from a single Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet. Other key applications for Bluetooth mesh include back-end for beacons and industrial monitoring.
Nordic’s Bluetooth mesh stack incorporates additional features not included in the Bluetooth SIG’s Bluetooth mesh 1.0 specification. Nordic’s stack includes secure side-by-side and blocking device firmware updates (DFU), a feature which allows scalable, secure DFU across the mesh without interruption of service while the new firmware is transferred. The Nordic Bluetooth mesh stack also includes a solution for provisioning over relaying nodes and a serialization interface which allows control of the mesh over a serial interface when using a two-chip Bluetooth mesh solution. (For example, when employing an Internet gateway as part of the application.)
“The official adoption of Bluetooth mesh is going to have a transformative impact on the lighting sector. The industry is finally getting a wireless technology that is technically capable of delivering the qualities and services everyone has been waiting for,” says Rafał Han, CEO of Silvair, a company creating an environment for the smart home. “It’s an open, global, and interoperable standard enabling wire-like reliability even in large, sensor-driven lighting installations. On top of that, you get many exciting value-added services, such as beacons, asset tracking, or indoor navigation.”
“Bluetooth mesh is a significant development for Bluetooth wireless connectivity adding new networks capabilities far beyond the point-to-point and star topologies for which it was originally designed,” says Alf Helge Omre, Business Development Manager at Nordic Semiconductor. “Mesh capability allows Bluetooth to take a giant leap from consumer into industrial applications such as lighting and other implementations that employ tens or even hundreds of nodes over wide areas.
“Nordic has been closely involved in the development of proprietary Bluetooth mesh stacks and has turned that expertise to rapidly bringing a Bluetooth standard-compatible mesh stack to market ahead of competitors,” explains Omre.
“The release of the nRF5 SDK for Mesh on the same day as the official adoption of Bluetooth mesh continues Nordic’s policy of ensuring it makes enhancements of Bluetooth technology immediately available to its developer customers.”