A dongle-free, Bluetooth-enabled FPGA board with a built-in J-Link OB debugger, an Arduino Uno form factor, and everything you need for edge-computing applications

Available for pre-order

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Mar 13, 2024

Project update 4 of 4

Exploring NRFICE: the JLink-OB Debugger

by Jay H

NRFICE enables dongle-free debugging with an officially licensed, built-in SEGGER JLink-OB. JLink-OB ("OB" standing for "On-Board") is a professional debugging solution running on a dedicated MCU. The JLink-OB implementation on NRFICE includes SWD debugging, a VCOM virtual COM port over USB, and target MCU flash memory downloading.

Typically, JLink-OB is designed into MCU evaluation boards by the chip maker. For instance, the nRF5340 Audio DK from Nordic Semiconductor features a JLink-OB hosted on a second nRF5340.

The NRFICE JLink-OB is similarly hosted on an ST Micro STM32F072CBU6.

Let’s see how we can configure NRFICE to operate using a single USB-C cable to provide all:

The power routing header allows configuration of the board power source from any of these:

In order to simultaneously power the board, debug, and communicate via the VCOM port, apply shunts to the power header as follows:

  1. Connect the VUSB net to STM_USB5V to source USB power from the JLink-OB port.

  2. Connect the VUSB Net to 5 V so that the five-volt net is sourced from USB, rather than the AC adapter.

With this configuration, the NRFICE board is ready for development on-the-go with no other cabling or tools needed than a single USB-C cable.

Thanks again to our supporters!

As support continues to come in during the last week of our funding campaign, we are gearing up for final checking of the production package so our orders will go out on schedule.

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NRFICE is part of Nordic Community Hub

Key Components

nRF5340 · Bluetooth 5.2 System-on-Chip
Brain of the NRFICE, making it possible to load a project into the onboard Lattice iCE40UP5K FPGA out of the box.

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