nRF7002 companion IC and development kit create low power Wi-Fi 6 IoT  

The first IC in Nordic Semiconductor’s Wi-Fi product family is the nRF7002 Wi-Fi 6 companion IC. The low power Wi-Fi 6 companion IC provides seamless dual band (2.4 and 5.0GHz) connectivity. The nRF7002 IC can be used with Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52 and nRF53 series multi-protocol SoCs and the nRF9160 cellular IoT (LTE-M / NB-IoT) system in package (SiP), but can be used in conjunction with non-Nordic host devices. 

In IoT applications, Wi-Fi 6 has power efficiency gains for battery power Wi-Fi operation and management in smart home products, industrial sensors, asset trackers, and wearables. They also contribute to the management of large IoT networks comprising hundreds of devices, said Nordic Semiconductor.

According to Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO and executive vice president of R&D and Strategy at Nordic: “This highly integrated and flexible solution will empower developers to create new, innovative Wi-Fi 6-enabled products. Supported with the nRF7002 DK and the award-winning nRF Connect [software development kit], combined with Nordic’s . . .  technical support, I believe it has never been easier to develop great Wi-Fi products.”

“The nRF7002 is designed to work alongside Nordic’s nRF52 and nRF53 Series making it a perfect fit for Matter, a smart-home standard backed by Amazon, Apple, Google, Nordic, Samsung, and hundreds of other companies,” explained Finn Boetius, product marketing engineer with Nordic. “The introduction of the IC and the nRF7002 DK now makes it easy for developers to get started on Matter and any other Wi-Fi based applications.” Matter uses Thread and Wi-Fi for data transport, and Bluetooth LE for commissioning.

The nRF7002 brings low power and secure Wi-Fi to the IoT. The dual-band IC complies with Station (STA), Soft Access Point (AP), and Wi-Fi Direct operation, and meets the IEEE 802.11b, a, g, n (Wi-Fi 4), ac (Wi-Fi 5), and ax (Wi-Fi 6) standards. The product also offers co-existence with Bluetooth LE, Thread and Zigbee. 

The nRF7002 supports target wake time (TWT) a key Wi-Fi 6 power saving feature. Interfacing with a host processor is done via serial peripheral interface (SPI) or quad SPI (QSPI). The IC offers a single spatial stream, 20MHz channel bandwidth, 64 QAM (MCS7), OFDMA, up to 86Mbits per second PHY throughput, and BSS (base service set) colouring. 

In addition to general IoT applications and Matter, the nRF7002 implements low power SSID-based Wi-Fi location when used with Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP and the company’s nRF Cloud Location Services. SSID-based Wi-Fi location supplements GNSS- or cell-based location by providing accurate positioning indoors and in places with a high density of Wi-Fi access points.

The introduction of the nRF7002 is accompanied by the launch of the nRF7002 DK, a development kit for the Wi-Fi 6 companion IC. The DK includes an nRF7002 IC and features an nRF5340 multi-protocol SoC as a host processor for the nRF7002. The nRF5340 embeds a 128MHz Arm Cortex-M33 application processor and a 64MHz high efficiency network processor. The DK supports the development of low-power Wi-Fi applications and enables Wi-Fi 6 features like OFDMA (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), beamforming, and TWT (target wake time). The DK includes Arduino connectors; two programmable buttons; a Wi-Fi dual-band antenna and a Bluetooth LE antenna, and current measurement pins. 

The nRF7002 companion IC and nRF7002 DK are available now from Nordic’s distribution partners.

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