The ‘ATMOS Mission One’ diving watch employs Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC to act as the main control chip for the device, processing complex sensor data and providing wireless connectivity

Written by Mike Benson

August 20, 2019

The ‘ATMOS Mission One’ diving watch employs Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC to act as the main control chip for the device, processing complex sensor data and providing wireless connectivity

Nordic Semiconductor recently announced that ATMOS, a Taiwan-based diving technology company, has specified Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to act as the main control chip for its ‘ATMOS Mission One’ diving watch, as well as provide the device with Bluetooth LE connectivity.

The Mission One diving watch features a range of sensors—including a digital compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, barometric altimeter, depth sensor, and GPS—to enhance the diver experience and safety. The Nordic SoC’s powerful 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor provides ample computational power to run the complex sensor algorithms, allowing the watch to precisely track and calculate decompression, record specific dive information, and create an overall dive profile. The sensor data is stored in the nRF52840 SoC’s generous 1MB Flash memory while a dive is in progress, which can then be wirelessly synced to the iOS- and Android-compatible ‘ATMOS’ app on the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (or later) smartphone once the diver has resurfaced.The Mission One diving watch weighs 90g, has a diameter of 50.5mm and a thickness of 18mm, and offers a maximum operating depth of 100 meters. The device uses a Lithium battery to provide up to 40 hours of life in dive mode with no backlight or 15 hours with backlight, up to 15 days in watch mode, and up to 10 days in smartwatch mode, thanks in part to the ultra low power capabilities of the nRF52840 SoC. The watch also integrates a haptic vibration motor, enabling the user to receive vibration alarms for ascent and descent rates, and decompression, as well as SMS messages and incoming phone calls when paired to the user’s smartphone.

Nordic’s nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5-, Thread 1.1-, and Zigbee PRO (R21) and Green Power proxy specification-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. The SoC combines the M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software). A new radio architecture with on-chip PA provides -95-dBm RX sensitivity (at 1Mbps Bluetooth LE), a maximum output power of 8dBm, and a total link budget of 103dBm. The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps)) compared with Bluetooth 4.2. Designed to address the inherent security challenges that are faced in IoT, the nRF52840 SoC incorporates the Arm CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator, offering best-in-class security.

The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified software protocol stack for building long range and high data Bluetooth LE applications. The S140 SoftDevice offers concurrent Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, and supports high throughput and long range modes as well as advertising extensions.

“The Mission One’s range of sensors demanded an SoC with a very powerful processor, and the nRF52840’s Arm M4F’s Floating-Point performance offered us a significant competitive advantage,” says Chang Youyu, CEO at ATMOS. “In addition, its small size, low power consumption, and the availability of Nordic’s technical information and support influenced our decision to select the Nordic SoC.”

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