Nordic Semi nRF7002 is a dual-band WiFi 6 companion IC for nRF52, nRF53, and nRF91 wireless chips

Nordic Semiconductor nRF7002 dual-band WiFi 6 companion chip is the first WiFi chip from the company and is designed to add Wi-Fi connectivity to solutions based on nRF52840 and nRF5340 wireless SoCs, and nRF9160 cellular IoT SiP, as well as non-Nordic host microcontrollers.

The nRF7002 also adds Wi-Fi-based locationing (SSID sniffing of local Wi-Fi hubs) when used alongside Nordic’s existing products, and the launch means Nordic is now one of the rare companies offering chips for Bluetooth, 802.15.4 (Matter/Thread), Wi-Fi, and cellular IoT (NB-IoT, LTE Cat M). This was made possible with the acquisition of the development team, core Wi-Fi expertise, and Wi-Fi IP assets of Imagination Technologies Group in 2020.

Nordic Semi nRF7002 key features specifications:

  • Complies with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band
  • Wi-Fi 6 Station (STA)
  • 1 Spatial Stream (SS)
  • 20 MHz channel bandwidth
  • 64 QAM (MCS7), 86 Mbps PHY throughput
  • OFDMA (Downlink and Uplink)
  • BSS coloring
  • Co-existence interfaces, including Bluetooth LE
  • Low-power and secure Wi-Fi for the IoT
  • Target Wake Time (TWT)
  • Host interface – SPI / QSPI
  • Package – 6×6 mm QFN

 

The nRF7002 will be supported in the nRF Connect SDK, but that’s about all we know so far, as technical documentation and information about development kits have not been made public just yet. [Update: there’s actually documentation for the nRF7002-PDK, a board that combines nRF7002 with nRF5340 dual-core Cortex-M33 SoC. It’s not just linked from the product page just yet

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Nordic Semi says the nRF7002 is already sampling now, and that interested customers should contact their local Nordic distributor for more details. You may be able to find a few more details on the product page or press release. The company will also showcase the nRF7002 in the upcoming Nordic Tech Tours taking place in North America and EMEA.

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8 Replies to “Nordic Semi nRF7002 is a dual-band WiFi 6 companion IC for nRF52, nRF53, and nRF91 wireless chips”

  1. Although I don’t expect it, I hope this is RISC-V based, otherwise I’ll stick with Espressif… and we all know how I feel about Imagination Technologies. One can only expect their kind of thinking to infect Nordic.

    1. The WiFI stack runs on the nRF52, nRF53, and nRF91 chips so all Arm, unless a RISC-V microcontroller from another company is used with the nRF7002 chip instead.

      1. What’s probably going on is that the chip is a black-box wifi device with an API over SPI, that hopefully includes things like firmware updates for security fixes. No other programmed activity is probably permitted on the device. In which case, this chip better be super cheap.

        I really can’t see Nordic allowing the wifi stack to run on another chip, unless it’s all locked down to Nordic-only chips through whatever cryptographic stuff they have. Which is probable, considering as I said I expect Imagination to thoroughly infect them with their idea that everything is proprietary.

        However, if it’s the case that higher-level aspects of the wifi stack are indeed open source, and you can use your own MCU if you want, then the rest of the industry is doomed.

        1. Yes, this is similar to Espressif’s first chip the ESP8265? It was a wifi chip meant to be paired with an ARM CPU and it worked as you describe.

        2. The industry is not doomed, the Linux kernel has had this open source split for decades. Check out soft MAC vs hard MAC in the kernel. Hard MAC is where the wifi stack runs on the chip, soft MAC is where most of it runs in the Linux kernel.

  2. Having a separate chip for Wi-Fi looks like a bridge solution. I expect that a new series of nRF will include the WiFi hardware onboard. Any software developed for the two-chip solution will likely work for a single chip solution with minimal change.

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