Easy handling for complex applications: Prototyping platform Nordic Thingy:53 at Rutronik

7 JULY 2022

Based on Nordic’s nRF5340 Dual-Core Arm® Cortex® M-33 multiprotocol system-on-chip (SoC), Thingy:53 features the nPM1100 power management IC (PMIC), the nRF21540 front end module (FEM), and a power amplifier/low noise amplifier (PA/LNA). That allows embedded machine learning (ML) models to be run directly on the device. The prototyping platform is equipped with multiple motion and environmental sensors and a 1350 mAh Li-Poly battery. It supports Bluetooth® LE, Thread, Matter, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, NFC, and Bluetooth Mesh RF protocols.

Rutronik supported Nordic in the realization of the product with specialized know-how in the fields of sensor technology, PoCs, and ML as well as interdisciplinary system competence. For example, Rutronik’s experts advised which components are best suitable. The result is an easily usable product for building advanced wireless proofs-of-concept and prototypes with ML capabilities. At www.rutronik24.com the Thingy:53 and its individual parts are available for reproduction.

Thingy:53 is a multi-sensor prototyping platform with multi-protocol short-range wireless connectivity that provides reduced time-to-market for embedded applications with machine learning.

The integrated ML functionality enables developers to use the Thingy:53’s sensors in applications such as speech recognition or motion pattern identification. For example, the accelerometer and a microphone with Pulse Density Modulation wake the nRF5340 SoC from standby mode when triggered by motion or sound. By keeping the platform in sleep mode for as long as possible, power-saving ML applications can be realized. In addition, this efficient use extends battery life.

Thingy:53 includes multiple sensors that measure temperature, humidity, air quality and pressure, as well as ambient light and color. The platform also features a low-power accelerometer and a six-axis inertial measurement unit. A MEMS microphone and buzzer, as well as individually programmable buttons and RGB LEDs, complete the product.

High-quality components from Bosch SE, Rohm Semiconductor, Toshiba, and Murata, among others, are used. These are also available as separate components at www.rutronik24.com.

Stable wireless connection

The nRF5340 SoC has both a network processor and a dedicated application processor. By using dedicated compute resources, the processor enables a trouble-free, stable wireless connection. The 128 MHz Arm Cortex-M33 application processor ensures that the prototyping platform can process complex machine learning computing tasks and complex algorithms. Sufficient memory provides a 1 MB flash and 512 kB RAM.

ML training and sensor data analysis in the cloud

Nordic’s nRF Edge Impulse app allows sensor data to be transferred via Bluetooth LE to the linked mobile device, uploaded to the cloud (Edge Impulse Studio account) for training, and trained ML models to be downloaded to the Thingy:53.

For more information about the Thingy:53 from Nordic and a direct ordering option, please visit our e-commerce platform at www.rutronik24.com.


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