Nordic nRF91 low power cellular IoT
Nordic’s nRF91 series is an ultra-compact, low power, global, multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT System-in-Package with integrated Arm Cortex-M33 host processor, Arm TrustZone security technology, and assisted GPS
The Nordic nRF91 series is all about taking the unique value proposal of cellular and bringing simplicity and appeal to a broader market. Today cellular is associated with the high data rates of smartphones and tablets. This solution aims to take cellular beyond just mobile devices and foster innovation that brings cellular connectivity to just about anything you can imagine. In much the same way as Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF5 series enabled innovation and drove adoption of Bluetooth wireless technology in new markets, the nRF91 series is designed to be an easily accessible solution for cellular connectivity. By setting new benchmarks in terms of integration, size, and power consumption, coupled with its ease-of-use, the nRF91 series is designed to unleash the huge potential of cellular in IoT – cellular made easy, cellular for everything else
All the benefits of a traditional cellular module in a tiny System-in-Package with global coverage
Front and center of Nordic Semiconductor’s upcoming nRF91 series is a highly-integrated, low power, global multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT System-in-Package (SiP). The SiP integrates a complete low power cellular IoT system into a tiny 10x16x1.2mm package that integrates modem, transceiver, RF front end, dedicated application processor, Flash memory, power management, crystal and passive components. With this level of integration the nRF91 SiP combines all the benefits of traditional cellular modules, including tele regulatory and cellular certifications, with ease-of-use, unprecedented integration, and the smallest form factor ever seen in the cellular industry to date.
The nRF91 series supports global operation with a single SiP variant thanks to the combination of Nordic’s multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT modem, SAW-less transceiver, and a custom RF front-end solution from Qorvo.
Built in Arm® Cortex®-M33 host processor, Arm® TrustZone® security, and Assisted GPS
The nRF91 takes security for low power IoT devices to new heights by combining the inherent security of cellular connectivity with a cutting-edge security solution for the application hardware and software. The integration of an Arm Cortex-M33 processor and Arm CryptoCell-310 security IP enables an entire low power cellular IoT application to be implemented on an nRF91 SiP.
The built-in host processor features TrustZone for Armv8-M, helping secure application data, firmware, and peripherals using an isolated, trusted execution environment across the CPU and system. This solution provides an efficient security foundation, reduces size, Bill-of-Materials (BOM), and power consumption versus using an external host processor.
The nRF91 SiP also features built-in support for positioning via an integrated Assisted GPS (A-GPS) solution that combines cellular and GPS technology to deliver fast and accurate positioning.
Nordic nRF91 Series System-on-Chip inside
The nRF91 SiP is based on Nordic’s own nRF91 Series low power cellular IoT System-on-Chip (SoC). Jointly developed by Nordic’s highly experienced cellular design team in Finland, and low power experts in Norway, the chip was developed from scratch to optimize the power, cost, and size savings enabled by the new LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular standards. The chip features an unprecedented and unique level of integration by combining a multimode cellular modem and transceiver, as well as application processor, Flash memory, RAM memory, and power management on a single chip.
Nordic is sampling nRF91 to selected lead customers now. First Development Kits are available at Rutronik24.de since mid of December 2018. The nRF91 SIP will be available in variants with and without integrated GPS.
The nRF91 will be available in three different hardware configurations. The Development Kit and Engineering samples of the all-in-one version providing LTE-M, NB-IoT and GPS functionality are already available at Rutronik24.com
As of this writing all HW variants and the production firmware version 1.0 are available:
|nRF9160-SICA||LTE-M & NB-IoT & GPS|
Source: Nordic Semiconductor ASA
An essential part in field testing your device is the network coverage. You can check the current deployment status for your area in this table or on this map courtesy of the GSM Asscociation.