Ultra low power RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor announced that it has been appointed a Bluetooth Special Interest Group Board of Directors company and along with simultaneously appointed Apple, both Nordic and Apple now join Ericsson AB, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and Toshiba on the Bluetooth SIG Board.

In an official statement released by the Bluetooth SIG yesterday (see the SIG said Nordic was a leader in ultra low power sensor silicon and its appointment was designed to help drive Bluetooth wireless technology's expansion into wireless sensor markets.

“We have set the ambitious goal of shipping five billion devices in 2015,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Bluetooth SIG. “To get there we must continue to build a technology that will offer a simple and secure solution that can be found everywhere, in every type of device. Apple and Nordic's addition to our Board will ensure we succeed in new markets we have targeted for growth.”

“Consumers love the convenience of wireless and the opportunities it brings in conjunction with the latest connected hub devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablet computers, TVs, and games consoles,” adds Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Emerging Technologies & Strategic Partnerships, Svein-Egil Nielsen.

Nielsen continues: “In health and wellness, for example, I can see wireless sensors literally transforming the way in which people exercise – particularly in terms of motivational results monitoring and social media sharing. While in the security market I can see small wireless body-worn/carried proximity sensors [e.g. located within a key fob] becoming an almost de-facto feature for safeguarding and restricting unauthorized access to the ever increasing amounts of sensitive data that consumers carry with them on portables such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

“And in the living room it is time to replace traditional IR [infra-red] remote controls with RF solutions, enabling better user control experiences and new navigation options such as QWERTY keyboards and touch-based interfaces.”

Nordic's appointment to the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors follows the release of the latest Bluetooth v4.0 specification in June 2010 that includes Bluetooth low energy as a hallmark feature. Bluetooth low energy was been designed from the outset to extend Bluetooth wireless connectivity to compact, coin cell-powered ULP devices such as wireless sensors. (See ‘About Bluetooth low energy’ below.)

Nordic was at the forefront of the group that defined the Bluetooth low energy specification since becoming a foundation member of Nokia’s Wibree Alliance in 2006 (the Alliance became part of the Bluetooth SIG in June 2007). Nordic contributed decades of expertise – gained in producing successive generations of class-leading proprietary and interoperable (ANT/ANT+) ULP wireless connectivity solutions within a field it pioneered. As such, Nordic's first Bluetooth low energy single chip solution – the µBlue nRF8001 – has already set the class-leading benchmark for ultra low power consumption within the Bluetooth low energy sector.