Is it possible to use Nordic SDK with Arduino?

Lola gravatar image

asked 2017-04-30 13:33:28 +0100

updated 2017-04-30 13:35:06 +0100

Using the nrf52 DK, I was trying for hours to setup Segger IDE on a mac, and the software doesn't feel good to me, its not clear where is your code, it has too many libraries, it feels cumbersome, like Windows.

Then I tried using the Arduino IDE from here, and after 5 minutes (!) I was able to blink a led.

So the problem with it, is that you can't do more complex stuff such as writing to Flash, RTC, OTA etc. Is there a way to use explicit code from your SDK together with Arduino ?

If so, how you do it ? can I simply import a library from the SDK and call its methods ?


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bjorn-spockeli gravatar image

answered 2017-05-02 11:12:03 +0100

Hi Lola,

you will not be able to include the libraries from the nRF5 SDK in the Arduino IDE without modifying them.

You could take a look at the Readbeard Labs Blend Micro 2 board and its Arduino library, here is the link. Its for the nRF52 DK, but it should be fairly easy to port it to the nRF52 DK.

Generally, I recommend spending some time to get familiar with nRF5 SDK and one of the supported IDEs( i.e. Keil, Segger Embedded Studio, Eclipse, IAR etc)

I understand that its not gong to be as easy as using the Arduino IDE, but if you're goal is to make a product that uses the nRF52832 then its going to be worth the effort.

Best regards


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Thank you. I will give it another try although it feels really strange that such a powerful tool as the nrf52 has no single UI intended for humans that looks like 2017. When it comes to hardware tools in general, it seems to me that we are still in the 90's , compared to the rich world of SW development tools (servers, mobile, etc ) . Not sure why. Its like building an F16 without a chair for the pilot.

Lola ( 2017-05-02 14:01:43 +0100 )editconvert to answer

@Lola: I completely agree that it should be easier to develop firmware for an embedded device like the nRF52. However, the industry standard today is pretty much developing firmware in IDEs like Keil and IAR, where the IDE is tightly integrated with a specific compiler. Although they might not be the most feature-rich or prettiest to look at, there is the fact that they work and have worked for a long time. This is it self is not an excuse to not move on, but remember that its a conservative industry and as they say "you do not change a winning team". There are efforts to make it easier, like ARM mbed, but my guess is that the effort and risk to move to a new and more "up-to-date" development platform is to big.

Bjørn Spockeli ( 2017-05-02 14:21:00 +0100 )editconvert to answer
hnhoan gravatar image

answered 2017-04-30 15:59:49 +0100

Perhaps, you could use Eclipse + GCC. I develop embedded software exclusively on MAC using Eclipse with native Eclipse project. Works with MCU from (NXP, Freescale, Nordic, even TI). You see how to setup from this blog.

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Thank you very much, I tried, I really did, I gave up :( I know how to write DSP code, but I just can't get over these IDE's mess. Maybe I got used to the great UX of Arduino.

Lola ( 2017-04-30 17:34:40 +0100 )editconvert to answer

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Asked: 2017-04-30 13:33:28 +0100

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Last updated: mai 02