Nordic Semi demonstrates Bluetooth RFID tag

Wants to standardize RFID, no low power Bluetooth

Norwegian semiconductor company Nordic Semiconductor ASA (OSX:NOD) has just demonstrated the compatibility of its µBlue RFID tags – also known as a fob – with a low power Bluetooth 4.0 chip from Broadcom, according to a press release from the company.

The demonstration is supposed to woo potential RFID customers into consider ing building an infrastructure based on Bluetooth that is a widely accepted standard instead of using various proprietary schemes that hamper interoperability.

Bluetooth ver. 4.0 is a special variation of Bluetooth that builds on initial work done by Nokia’s now defunct Wibree alliance, whose specification has been merged into the Bluetooth standards.  This is not a formal product announcement on the part of Nordic Semiconductor, but the Broadcom chip used for the demo is a combo chip, BCM4330, has just recently been certified and follows the Bluetooth ver. 4.0 specification.

“Demand for Bluetooth low energy continues to grow as the technology is integrated into the increasing number of consumer electronics devices,” comments Craig Ochikubo, Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom’s Wireless Personal Area Networking line of business. “By incorporating Bluetooth v4.0 into all of our combo chips moving forward, Broadcom is working to enable a world where the millions of Bluetooth devices being shipped daily can communicate with sensors that can be placed throughout the home, workplace, and even on the human body. This will not only simplify connectivity for consumers, but will also help drive new innovative implementations into new areas including health, fitness, and home entertainment, among others.”

Several profiles, which allow the Bluetooth low energy software stack to be customized for a particular application, are due for release in the next several months, starting with the Proximity Profile used by the proximity fob prototype. Nordic became a member of the Bluetooth SIG when Nokia’s Wibree Alliance was taken over by the Bluetooth SIG.S|A

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