Nordic Semiconductor Adoption of Zigbee and Emergence of New, Open Development Model
August 31, 2022
Nordic Semiconductor is a Norwegian fabless semiconductor company specializing in wireless communication technology that powers the Internet of Things (IoT). Established in 1983, Nordic has expanded to be a global market leader with 1300 employees around the globe. Nordic’s reputation is built on leading-edge technology and development tools that shield designers from RF complexity. The company pioneered ultra-low power wireless and helped develop Bluetooth Low Energy. Nordic is committed to ultra-low power wireless solutions, which led them to Zigbee.
Choosing a Low Power Wireless Solution
Nordic Semiconductor has made a name for themselves by offering mature Bluetooth Low Energy solutions with excellent interoperability. As the smart home market expanded, it was evident that most customers required the ubiquity of Bluetooth Low Energy in smartphones and tablets, in addition to low-power mesh technology, in their products. As a result, in 2018, Nordic Semiconductor broadened its smart home applications offering by launching its first Zigbee solution for the nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC. All Nordic Semiconductor products that followed were a multiprotocol offering of Bluetooth and 802.15.4 running concurrently, giving its customers flexibility and choice in low-power tech.
“Expanding our product portfolio to also support Zigbee has enabled both our existing and new customers to build products to be part of the Zigbee ecosystem. This has been greatly appreciated by our customers. ” – Pär Håkansson, Product Director, Short Range IoT, Nordic Semiconductor.
The decision to add Zigbee to Nordic Semiconductor’s portfolio was easy as Zigbee was and currently remains the largest open standard for the smart home. Zigbee is a secure, robust, scalable, and low-power open standard with extensive interoperability and wide market adoption.
Early on Nordic Semiconductor recognized the tremendous effort it takes to create a high-quality, wireless protocol stack, so it partnered with DSR Corporation to create a winning Zigbee solution that enables their customers to easily develop and deploy quality Zigbee products.
Nordic’s reputation is built on the supply of leading-edge wireless technologies and development tools that abstract the RF complexity, making it easy to try, evaluate, and use their technology. To achieve customer success, they provide development kits, software development kits with common product examples, development tools, and documentation with support at every step. Nordic sees an ongoing Zigbee adoption from small to large customers using the self-service model.
Nordic believes open standards are the best way to scale IoT in general and create a larger market together. In the spirit of open standards development, in 2019, Nordic again partnered with DSR Corporation to create an open, collaborative platform named ZBOSS Open Initiative (ZOI). ZOI provides the best on the market Zigbee stack to its members with the added benefits of shared technology investment, source code access, increased interoperability, improved security, latest updates, bug fixes, and a collaborative development environment. Sharing the development efforts between multiple companies creates a more robust product that benefits all participants and their customers, along with users who utilize the products built on ZOI. Members can prioritize new features and provide the code for the implementation. These features are implemented swiftly by making pull requests, thus benefiting their customers.
It’s an interesting model that is not open source but is member-driven. Multiple silicon vendors are already supporting this initiative, and it continues to expand. It utilizes modern ways of working with Git, Confluence, and other tools to create a current code base that gives developers a huge benefit as they can fix things and collaborate faster, significantly reducing the product development lifecycle. To learn more about ZOI, visit https://dsr-zoi.com.
In the end, Nordic’s ambition has always been to make it as easy as possible for its customers to create successful products. Nordic continues to deliver the solutions and tools that help its customers realize their designs with ease. Nordic will continue to utilize Zigbee technology along with new technologies emerging on the market to deliver state-of-the-art offerings to its customers.
About Nordic Semiconductor
Nordic Semiconductor is a Norwegian fabless semiconductor company specializing in wireless communication technology that powers the Internet of Things (IoT). Nordic was established in 1983 and has more than 1300 employees across the globe. The company’s award-winning Bluetooth Low Energy solutions pioneered ultra-low power wireless, making Nordic the global market leader. The technology range was later supplemented by ANT+, Thread and Zigbee, and in 2018 Nordic launched its low power, compact LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT solutions to extend the penetration of the IoT. The Nordic portfolio was further complemented by Wi-Fi technology in 2022.
To learn more about Nordic Semiconductor Zigbee and other products, please visit: https://www.nordicsemi.com/zigbee.