Today is an exciting day for cellular Internet of Things (IoT) technology development!! Nordic Semiconductor have released their awaited nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) module for LTE-M and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) driven technology solutions, an industry step change in cellular IoT development with their low cost, fully certified module bringing rapid and simplified IoT development to many new tech product developments.
Based on an ARM Cortex M33 CPU, the module comes with an impressive set of features, including multimode LTE-M and NB-IoT capability, and an integrated GPS as well as rich set of peripherals to truly create a one stop solution for IoT applications such as sensing, tracking and low power telemetry use cases. With the global IoT market expected to explode to over $3 trillion by 2020, this new product will be a key enabler to a variety of technology developments. As older 2.5G networks around the world are switched off, compat and low power LTE IoT technologies are key to transition older telemetry technology as well as new low cost applications. As a cellular IoT solution, the network and quality of service certainty required for some applications is guaranteed, something that other license free technologies may not be able to always offer (however they are significantly more low cost).
Some highlights include:
– Worldwide operation – LTE-M and NB-IoT support in bands from 700 MHz to 2.2GHz
– first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm’s latest Arm Cortex M-33 CPU core with Arm TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell security
– 1MB of Flash and 256 kB of RAM for firmware development flexibility
– broad range peripherals, analog and digital interfaces, 32 GPIOs
– stand-alone modem (Up to +23 dBm output power) with full LTE capability with custom multiband RF front-end from Qorvo (-108 dBm LTE-M RX sensitivity)
– integrated GPS receiver
– compact 10x16x1mm footprint
– GCF certification – quality approval for compliance to 3GPP LTE specification, as well as FCC and CE certifications.
– developed by a new team of engineers at Nordic Semiconductor bringing unique capabilities from companies such as Nokia, Microsoft, Broadcom, and ST-Ericsson as well as their development support expertise.
– initial pricing around $20 in lower volumes
We think that this will form a major part of the IoT ecosystem, alongside other license free non-cellular technologies such as SIGFOX and LoRa/LoRaWAN (which we are big fans of here at Milliamp along with LoRaWAN driven The Things Network).
Milliamp Technologies have many years experience developing electronic, radio and firmware products for low power, telemetry and IoT solutions using technology from Nordic Semiconductor. We have expertise with a variety of their technology including nRF24, nRF51 (Cortex M0), nRF52 (Cortex M4) with custom application firmware using Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0/5.0, proprietary, Gazelle (GZLL)/Shockburst, ANT+ and Thread radio stacks. Our close links with Nordic Semiconductor allow us to develop solutions quickly with minimal fuss, leveraging expedited support when needed.