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The nRF51 Development Kit is a single-board development kit for Bluetooth Smart, ANT and 2.4GHz proprietary applications using the nRF51 Series SoC. This kit supports both development for both nRF51822 and nRF51422 SoCs.

Mounted Chips:
This board has experimental support in mbed OS, currently under review by the ARM mbed team.


The kit is compatible with the Arduino Uno Revision 3 standard, making it possible to use 3rd-party shield that are compatible to this standard with the kit.

The kit supports the standard Nordic Software Development Tool-chain using Keil, IAR and GCC. The kit also supports ARM mbed tool-chain for rapid prototyping and development using mbed’s cloud-based IDE and tool-chain with an extensive range of open-source software libraries. Program/Debug options on the kit are Segger J-Link Lite for standard tool-chain and CMSIS-DAP for mbed. The kit gives access to all I/O and interfaces via connectors and has 4 LEDs and 4 buttons which are user-programmable. A range of software examples are available from the nRF51 SDK to support Bluetooth Smart, ANT and 2.4GHz applications.

nRF51-DK Pinmap


  • Nordic nRF51 (both nRF51822 and nRF51422) System-on-Chip combining Bluetooth v4.1-compliant 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio and ARM® Cortex®-M0 processor on a single chip optimized for ultra-low power operation
  • Arduino Uno Rev. 3 compatible connector for use with 3rd party shields
  • All I/O and interfaces available via connectors
  • USB drag and drop programming and USB Virtual COM port for serial terminal
  • Segger J-Link and CMSIS-DAP interface for programming and debugging from offline tools and pyOCD
  • Connector for RF measurements
  • Pins for power consumption measurements
  • Accepts power through:
  • USB
  • External source (1.8V-3.6V)
  • Single 2032 coin-cell battery, onboard battery holder

Other Resources

You can find detailed information about this platform on the nRF51 DK User Guide download page.

For any nRF51-DK related questions you can also search and post questions on Nordic Developer Zone

A team of summer interns at Nordic have recently developed a library for easier setup and prototyping of IoT devices for the nRF51822. This could be useful when developing applications for the nRF51-DK.

Firmware Update

The latest mbed interface upgrade file for the nRF51-DK is:

Version 0218, Minor bug fixes. Added correct MSD content for specific platform.


To update the firmware:

  1. Unplug DK from the usb or turn power switch off.
  2. Press and hold down the reset button and connect the usb while doing so or turn on power
  3. DK should now enumerate as an MSD named "BOOTLOADER"
  4. Copy the firmware binary to the BOOTLOADER drive.
  5. Wait until the drive dismounts and the mbed LED is flashing continuously
  6. Unplug (or turn off/on) the board and plug in again, and the board should enumerate as usual.
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