I would like to develop an application with Nordic's nRF8001 DevKit. The master emulator of this kit is an USB Dongle and it is originally meant for PC connection. My final goal for the project is to run it on an FPGA (possibly through Embedded Linux). Regarding this goal, I have some questions.

1) Is the master emulator (USB Dongle) compatible with Linux? Are there any open-source drivers or from Nordic?

1a) If there is a driver for Linux, can I use it with Embedded Linux or do I have to make some modifications to it?

1b) If there isn't a driver for Linux, can I write my own Embedded Linux driver (no prior experience on drivers)? Are there any similar/reference drivers?

2) Is it possible to use the nRF8001 chip, not the USB Dongle, with FPGA as a master, possibly through serial interface (SPI/UART)?


1 Answer 1


The NRF8001 has an SPI interface which people routinely use with ATmega32U8 based Arduino boards running open source firmware.

Therefore, you certainly don't need the dongle or any particular host operating system to ultimately utilize it. Talking SPI is quite natural for FPGA designs, with or without a soft core processor inside.

It is possible though, that some setup or demo tools might need a particular host system if you chose to utilize those. But you probably will not need them; or at most, could run them once in a VM to generate any special configuration file you might need, and then export it for continued use in your chosen system.


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