Available protocols

Our nRF5 Series of SoCs support Bluetooth® , ANT™, IEEE 802.15.4, Thread, and proprietary protocols operating in the 2.4 GHz bandwidth.

Each protocol has its own unique set of characteristics. Check which one best suits your design.

Description Bluetooth Low Energy ANT Proprietary IEEE 802.15.4 Thread
Frequency range 2.400–2.483 GHz 2.400–2.483 GHz 2.400–2.483 GHz 2.400–2.483 GHz 2.400–2.483 GHz
Frequency FHSS Fixed frequency FHSS or fixed frequency DSSS DSSS
Supported topologies Peer-to-peer, star Peer-to-peer, star, mesh Peer-to-peer, star, mesh Peer-to-peer, star, mesh Mesh
Security 128-bit AES 64-bit key, 128-bit AES 128-bit AES 128-bit key, 128-bit AES 128-bit key and 128-bit AES at the network layer, DTLS for commissioning
Data rate 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps, 500 kbps, 125 kbps 1 Mbps 2 Mbps, 1 Mbps, 500 kbps, 250 kbps, 125 kbps 250 kbps 250 kbps
Number of connections Up to 20 Very high Very high Very high Very high
Effective throughput Up to 1.4 Mbps Up to 60 kbps Up to 1000 kbps Up to 150 kbps Up to 130 kbps
Applications Wearables, automation, sensors, fitness, healthcare, toys, computer peripherals, remote controls, etc. Wireless sensors, hubs for sports, fitness, healthcare Computer peripherals, remote controls, goods tracking, sensors, fitness, healthcare, Wireless sensors, home automation, industrial control, telemetry, remote controls A wide variety of products for the home: appliances, access control, climate control, energy management, lighting, safety and security
More information Bluetooth SIG

ANT basics

ANT: The protocol

Nordic proprietary protocols IEEE 802.15.4 Thread Group

Bluetooth Low Energy

Bluetooth Low Energy is a global standard that enables short range communication between devices using minimal power. It makes it possible to make applications that can run for months, even years on a single coin cell battery.

Your device must meet Bluetooth SIG standards and be a qualified product before being marketed as a Bluetooth product. See the Product certification section for more information.


Geared for communicating with sensors, ANT is most commonly used in the fitness industry and can be found in smart watches, fitness equipment, and fitness monitors.

You must qualify your device as an ANT authorized product. See the Product certification section for more information.


In addition to ANT and Bluetooth, our nRF5 Series of SoCs support any proprietary protocols that also operate in the 2.4 GHz range. Choose Proprietary if you want:

IEEE 802.15.4

802.15.4 MAC is used to build a proprietary network or to act as a basis for a variety of different higher layer standards including Thread, ZigBee, Wireless HART, RF4CE, ISA100.11a, and 6LoWPAN.


Thread is a self-healing mesh network with no single point of failure, designed to securely and reliably connect hundreds of products around the home. It provides extensive support for sleepy nodes, which allows for years of operation even on a couple of AAA batteries. Thread is based on the power-efficient IEEE 802.15.4 MAC/PHY and natively carries IPv6 utilizing 6LoWPAN as the foundation.

Your device must meet Thread Group standards and be certified before being marketed as a Thread product. Detailed information about product certification is available for Thread Group members on Contributor and Sponsor levels at Join Thread.


Our nRF5 Series SoCs are capable of running multiple protocols at the same time, allowing you to communicate with a broad range of devices within the 2.4 GHz range. Choose Concurrency if you want:

A SoftDevice that combines Bluetooth and ANT is the S332 SoftDevice for the nRF52 Series and the S310 SoftDevice Specification v3.0 for the nRF51 Series.