Rutronik offers new 2.4GHz range extender for increased coverage and longer battery life

Nordic semiconductor‘s 2.4GHz RF Front End Module (FEM) nRF21540 is a “plug and play” range extender product that improves coverage and connection robustness when used in conjunction with the nRF52 and nRF53 series of multiprotocol wireless SoCs or other radio products . The nRF21540 requires minimal external components. Rutronik offers this product on the e-commerce website

This FEM enhances the link robustness of Nordic’s low-power short-range wireless solutions thanks to an integrated power amplifier for the output and a low-noise amplifier (PA/LNA) for the input. When combined with the nRF52 series SoC, the output power is +21dBm, the RX gain is 13dB, and the low noise figure is 2.5dB, resulting in an excellent link budget, which can extend the coverage by up to 16 times. For example, when combined with the nRF52840 SoC running Bluetooth Low Energy at 1 Mbps, the nRF21540 can improve RX sensitivity by 5dBm to -100dBm. Combined with the increased output power, the link budget can be improved by 18dBm.

The TX power of the nRF21540 can be adjusted dynamically, and its output power can be set to increase in small increments. When the maximum output power exceeds the allowable value in the 2.4GHz band by 1dBm, there is enough room to compensate for losses in the antenna signal chain, while making full use of the allowable 20dBm value for antenna radiation. This is the case for all protocols such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, Thread, ANT and Gazell as well as proprietary versions of the protocol. If a radio connection without FEM is established in a susceptible environment or near the upper limit of the wireless SoC’s link budget, the failure rate of transmissions will increase; this results in continuous retransmissions, resulting in higher energy consumption. The nRF21540 reduces the number of attempts required to transmit a packet, thereby reducing the energy balance of the application, although the range extender consumes additional power.

Operating over the -40°C to +105°C temperature range, the nRF21540 device complements Nordic’s high temperature nRF52833 and nRF5340 SoCs in industrial applications such as professional lighting. Other targeted applications include asset tracking, RC toys, drones, agricultural technology, audio and smart home use cases.

Nordic will provide drivers to support future releases of the nRF5 SDK, the nRF5 SDK for Thread and Zigbee, and the nRF Connect SDK to further enhance the ease of use of its SoC devices.

Customers can find more information about Nordic’s new 2.4GHz range extender and direct ordering options on the Rutronik e-commerce website, and can also place orders directly.

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