Arm Mbed OS support forum

Which board should I use to start my mbed BLE education?

I would like to try out mbed development, but unsure what would be a good starting board. I have a Nordic nrf52840 dongle which I have been using with Nordic’s nRF Connect SDK, but this does not appear to be supported by mbed. Please correct me if I am wrong!

I am particularly interested in BLE development and the long range features in Bluetooth 5, so a cheap nrf52840 supported board would be ideal, preferably a cheaper one than Nordic’s nrf52840 DK. If not a cheap nrf51 board would suffice to start off with.

Please suggest some supported boards.

I’ve myself started with the NUCLEO-WB55RG (https://os.mbed.com/platforms/ST-Nucleo-WB55RG/).

It’s a great board, easy to use and powerful.

From my understanding, Nordic doesn’t support mbed anymore and are recommending another RTOS instead. This means that in the future, it might be harder to get mbed working with Nordic MCUs if they don’t provide support as ST does.

Thanks for the information about Nordic. This is curious as the Arduino 33 BLE is based on mbed and the nrf52840. Arduino have put a lot of effort into getting the Arduino core to run on top of mbed. I had noticed that Nordic themselves are going down the zephyr root for their own nRF Connect SDK.

I might need to rethink this if Nordic are not going to support mbed.

It also depends on what you have in mind as your final product or project.

A lot of BLE boards are actually two MCUs, one for the application and one for the BLE. Mbed’s Cordio BLE stack takes care of communication between the two.

In our case, our project needs a screen, BLE, Bluetooth (for audio), Wifi, motor drivers, etc. So we chose a more powerful main MCU, the STM32F769 and added the modules around.

For BLE, we decided to use ST’s BlueNRG-M0. It’s BLE 4.2 but it’s fully compatible with mbed and the drivers and HCI are available, so no development time on that end.

In the future, we might move to a more advanced BLE 5.0 like Laird’s BL654. But we won’t be running Mbed on the module, we’ll use Nordic SDK or Laird’s smartBASIC to handle BLE. We’ll then communicate with our main MCU through UART.

It gives greater flexibility, you get to use the best of both world but it needs more development, more resources and also to maintain two code bases.

Hi John. There are currently three Nordic boards that support Mbed OS: https://os.mbed.com/platforms/?q=&Communication=Bluetooth+%26+BLE&Board+vendor=Nordic+Semiconductor+ASA. There are also quite a few other boards that use a Nordic MCU, quite a few of which have BLE support: https://os.mbed.com/platforms/?q=&Communication=Bluetooth+%26+BLE&Target+vendor=Nordic+Semiconductor+ASA. This second list might be your best starting point if you want to find a combination of Nordic, Mbed and BLE support.

Thanks. News to me and this is helpful.