Nordic Semiconductor integrates LTE-M/NB-IoT and GNSS in SiP

Designed for a range of single device, low power, cellular IoT designs, the nRF9160 is a compact, integrated system-in-package (SiP) that makes the latest low power LTE technology and advanced processing and security accessible, said Nordic Semiconductor.

It incorporates an Arm Cortex-M33 application processor, a full LTE modem, RF front end (RFFE) and power management system. Nordic claims it is the most compact, complete and energy-efficient cellular IoT solution on the market today.

The integrated modem supports both LTE-M and NB-IoT and can operate globally so there is no need to develop regional variants. All power saving features, including eDRX and PSM are supported, together with IPv4 / IPv6 support up to the transport and security (TCP/TLS) level. The modem’s firmware is upgradable via secure, encrypted firmware over the air (FOTA) updates.

The Arm Cortex-M33 application processor is supported by 1Mbyte of flash and 256kBbyte RAM, sufficient to accommodate even advanced application development in the single device, said Nordic.

A GNSS receiver is integrated into the radio. This allows for a choice of modes of operation to suit a variety of applications that employ location tracking functionality. The nRF9160 SiP also supports different cellular-based location features.

There is a selection of general interfaces and peripherals included on the nRF9160, for example, 12-bit ADC, RTC, SPI, I²C, I²S, UARTE, PDM and PWM.

Security is provided by Arm TrustZone technology for isolation and protection of normal and secure zones for firmware and elements of hardware including memory and peripherals. Arm TrustZone helps build solid and secure IoT applications that feature secure boot, trusted firmware updates and root of trust implementations without performance compromise, explained Nordic. Arm CryptoCell enhances security further by offering cryptographic and security resources to help protect IoT applications from various attack threats, continued the company. CryptoCell is designed for high-performance cryptography solutions optimised for energy-constrained devices.

The nRF9160 supports both SIM and eSIM for connection and authentication with mobile network operators.

Hardware and development kits are now in production and are suitable for the full end-to-end sensor to cloud development.

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