IoT module makes global comms design accessibility

Claiming to make cellular IoT accessible to any application, Nordic Semiconductor announces that its nRF91 Series cellular IoT module is available through major global distributors.

The nRF9160 is available from Digi-Key Electronics, Mouser Electronics and Premier Farnell and other distributors.

The modules is “significantly smaller”, says the company with lower power demands and more security features than any other cellular IoT module launched to date for both LTE-M and NB-IoT applications.

The first nRF9160 system-in-package (SiP) member of the nRF91 series of cellular IoT modules has also received GCF certification. This is the trusted mobile communications industry quality mark for compliance to the 3GPP LTE specification and global cellular network interoperability, as well as separate FCC and CE regulatory certifications. As a result, the nRF9160 SiP is approved for deployment in cellular networks and cellular IoT product applications around the world.

The nRF9160 SiP is designed to make cellular IoT wireless technology accessible to any application due to the unique ease with which the module can be designed-in, says Nordic Semiconductor.

Target applications include asset monitoring and tracking, utility metering, industrial (machinery) connectivity and predictive maintenance, smart city and infrastructure, agrotech (smart agriculture), and medical.

The nRF9160 SiP measures just 10 x 16 x 1.0mm and is suitable for compact wearable consumer and medical devices, as a complete solution that integrates everything a cellular connection and IoT application may need beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna.

Nordic has partnered with Qorvo to make a SiP that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module, using Qorvo’s RF front end technology, packaging expertise and MicroShield technology for a compact solution that combines high performance with low power consumption. The nRF9160 SiP supports global operation with a single SiP variant using the combination of Nordic’s multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT modem, SAW-less transceiver, and a custom RF front-end solution from Qorvo. 

The nRF9160 SiP is the first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm’s latest Arm Cortex M-33 CPU

Core. It is supported by 1Mbyte of flash and 256kbyte of RAM. The nRF9160 SiP is also the

first module to incorporate Arm’s TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell security for internet-level encryption and application protection. Both of these technologies are designed for highly energy-efficient embedded IoT products that require the highest levels of performance in processing, power consumption, and security, explains Nordic Semiconductor.

A broad range peripheral set, analogue and digital interfaces, 32 general purpose I/Os, a standalone modem with full LTE capability, and a multi-band RF front-end are other features of the nRF9160 SiP.

Integrated GPS support allows a combination of GPS and cellular data to be used for more accurate positioning than either technology is capable of when used in isolation.

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