Nordic has recently launched a new Bluetooth audio portfolio product, the Nordic nRF5340 Audio Development Kit. This audio DK includes everything needed to help developers take advantage of the high sound quality, low power consumption and wireless stereo enhancements of Bluetooth LE Audio.
Nordic announces the nRF5340 Audio Development Kit, a design platform for rapid development of Bluetooth® LE Audio products. The nRF5340 is the world's first wireless SoC with two Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors, ideal for LE Audio and other complex Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) describes LE Audio as "the future of wireless sound". This technology is based on the low-complexity communication codec LC3, an enhancement to the low-complexity subband codec (SBC) used by Classic Audio.
LC3 ensures that LE Audio has higher audio quality and longer battery life than Classic Audio in all use cases. Extensive listening testing has shown that the LC3 provides better audio quality than SBC at the same sample rate at all sample rates, and delivers equal or better audio quality at half the wireless data rate.
Lower data rates are a key factor in minimizing power consumption in LE Audio products. LE Audio also brings True Wireless Stereo (TWS) and other new features to wireless audio applications, including Audio Sharing.。
The Audio DK's core nRF5340 SoC combines a high-performance application processor with a fully programmable ultra-low-power network processor for optimal power efficiency and high performance in a dual-core architecture. The 128 MHz Arm Cortex-M33 applications processor contains 1 MB of flash and 512 KB of RAM, making it ideal for handling custom applications and audio codecs such as LC3.
The 64 MHz Arm Cortex-M33 network processor has 256 KB of flash memory and 64 KB of RAM, and is power-optimized to run Nordic Bluetooth LE Audio RF protocol software. The nRF Connect SDK is an nRF5340 SoC development platform that provides nRF5340 Audio DK board level support and supports LE Audio, Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread and other applications.
In addition to the nRF5340 SoC, the Audio DK features Nordic's nPM1100 power management IC (PMIC) and Cirrus Logic's CS47L63 audio digital signal processor (DSP).
The nPM1100 features a highly efficient configurable buck regulator and an integrated battery charger with up to 400mA charging current in a very small form factor, making it an ideal PMIC for space-constrained applications such as TWS earbuds. The CS47L63 features a high-performance DAC and differential output driver optimized for direct connection to external headphone loads for earbud products with mono and direct speaker outputs only.