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nRF21540 Development Bundle

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 Product Description

Development Bundle consisting of an EK and DK, both with an RF front end module (FEM) for 2.4 GHz wireless range extension

The nRF21540 DB is designed to be used by customers developing solutions with the nRF21540 FEM. The nRF21540 DB consists of an evaluation kit (EK) and a development kit (DK). The nRF21540 EK is a shield that can be used for radio testing or can be connected to an SoC’s antenna output and via the Arduino Uno Rev 3 header pins. This makes it possible to use the EK in combination with all Nordic nRF52 and nRF53 DKs. The nRF21540 DK has essentially the same pinout as the nRF52840 DK with a built in nRF21540 RF FEM, which enables easy development and testing with the built-in range extender on a single board.

While the device can be used with other radios (EK is the preferred platform in this case), the ease of use with Nordic SoCs is further enhanced as driver support is available in Nordic’s nRF5 SDK for Thread and Zigbee, and the nRF Connect SDK.

The nRF21540 RF FEM improves range and connection robustness for Nordic Semiconductor's short-range wireless portfolio. As a complementary device, the nRF21540 RF FEM is a range extender that can be used with the nRF53 and nRF52 Series advanced multiprotocol wireless SoCs with a minimal number of external components required.

The nRF21540 RF FEM's +13 dB RX gain and low noise figure (2.7 dB), coupled with up to +21 dBm TX output power ensures a superior link budget for up to 8x longer range. When combined with an nRF52840 SoC running Bluetooth Low Energy at 1 Mbps, for example, the nRF21540 RF FEM improves the RX sensitivity by 5 dB to -100 dBm. Coupled with the increased output power, the connection link budget is raised by up to 18 dB. For nRF53 and nRF52 Series devices with less than +8 dBm TX power on-chip, the improvements are even larger (>= 8x longer range).

The nRF21540 RF FEM’s TX power is dynamically adjustable and output power can be set in small increments. This ensures that designs can run with output power within 1 dBm of the allowable range across all regions and operating conditions. The RF FEM is a valuable addition for all applications that may require increased range or robust coverage. In demanding environments, or close to the range limit, it can be more energy efficient to deploy with the nRF21540 RF FEM than taking a hit on throughput due to continuous retransmissions. The device can also operate across a -40°C to +105°C temperature range, allowing it to complement Nordic’s high temperature qualified SoCs in the nRF53 and nRF52 Series in industrial applications such as professional lighting. Other example applications are asset tracking, remote controlled toys, audio and smart home use cases.


Features (nRF21540 DK):

  • Versatile development kit for the nRF21540 RF FEM
  • 2 x 2.4 GHz antennas for antenna diversity
  • Segger J-Link OB programmer/debugger
  • Power and program/debug via USB interface
  • Direct USB interface to nRF52840 SoC
  • NFC-A tag antenna connector
  • Arduino Uno Rev3 compatible
  • User-programmable buttons (4) and LEDs (4)
  • 1.7-5.5 V supply from USB, external or Li-Po battery
  • Pins for measuring power consumption
  • nRF52840 SoC w/ Bluetooth Low Energy (LE),
  • 802.15.4 and proprietary 2.4 GHz protocol support
    • Arm® Cortex™-M4 with floating point unit
    • Arm® CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator
  • nRF21540 RF front end module


Features (nRF21540 EK):

  • Versatile evaluation kit for the nRF21540 that can be used with nRF52 and nRF53 Series DKs, as well as other radios
  • ANT1 and ANT2 ports (SMA) for antennas or lab equipment
  • TRX port (SMA) for connecting radio or lab equipment
  • Pins for current measurement
  • Arduino Uno Rev3 compatible
  • nRF21540 RF front end module


Features (nRF21540 RF FEM):

  • Adjustable output power in small increments up to +21 dBm
  • +13 dB RX gain, with 2.7 dB noise figure
  • Supports Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth mesh, Thread and Zigbee (802.15.4) and proprietary 2.4 GHz
  • TX gain control via I/Os, SPI, or a combination
  • 105 °C extended operating temperature
  • When used in combination with a nRF52 or nRF53 Series SoC it can improve RF performance with:
    • Up to 8x range extension
    • -100 dBm RX sensitivity (Bluetooth LE, 1 Mbps)



  • Asset tracking and RTLS
  • Professional lighting
  • Smart Home
  • Industrial
  • Toys
  • Audio


icon-pdf2.gif nRF21540-DB Website

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