nRF5 SDK v14.2.0
Introduction to BLE IoT
This information applies to the following SoftDevice: S132

The nRF5 SDK lets nRF5 devices connect and communicate with other devices over the Internet using Bluetooth low energy (BLE). By providing drivers, libraries, examples, and APIs, the SDK is an all-purpose tool for getting started with the Internet of Things (IoT).

All devices in the Internet of Things must be uniquely identifiable, so that direct communication between the devices is possible and each device can be individually addressed. One way of accomplishing this is to assign a unique IPv6 address to each device and handle all communication through IPv6.

This SDK provides means to use BLE links to connect IoT devices to a BLE enabled router, which in turn is connected to the Internet through IPv6. All IoT devices are assigned individual IPv6 addresses, and the BLE link is used to transmit the IPv6 packages. In this way, the SDK abstracts applications from the underlying BLE technology and provides a way to directly address all devices using IPv6.

Each IoT device can directly communicate with other devices using their IPv6 address; no matter if the other device is connected to the same router or is located somewhere else on the Internet, and no matter if the other device is using a BLE link or not. In addition, all applications can use the same protocol (for example MQTT, CoAP, or even HTTP) to communicate, which means that heterogeneous types of devices - wired, wireless, or clouds - can talk a common language.

Figure 1 illustrates an IoT network with devices that are connected to the Internet through BLE enabled routers.

Figure 1. IoT network using BLE links

The nRF5 SDK documentation includes descriptions and reference material to help you understand the various components of the SDK. Examples are provided for development purposes only and should always be tested with your design. For the list of examples, see Experimental: IoT Examples.

The nRF5 SDK provides modules and libraries to easily connect BLE devices to the Internet of Things. See the following pages for an overview of the provided modules and where they fit in when starting to develop applications for the Internet of Things:

Layers and protocols

Connectivity scenarios

IPv6 stack in the nRF5 SDK

IoT Glossary

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