On November 6th, 2019 at 10 AM CT //  3PM GMT: Join us as to learn more about cellular IoT Prototyping with we host a webinar with Bjørn Kvaale, Applications Engineer, Nordic Semiconductor:


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The Nordic Thingy:91 is a cellular IoT prototyping platform that integrates a TRIO mXTENDTM (FR01-S4-210) and the Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP).  The Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 is a compact, highly-integrated Low power System-in-Package with integrated LTE-M/NB-IoT modem and GPS for cellular IoT (cIoT) designs, featuring ARMv8-M Arm Cortex-M33 application processor solely for applications, a full LTE modem, RF Front End (RFFE) and power management system. Nordic Semiconductor claims that the nRF9160 is the most compact, complete and energy-efficient cellular IoT solution on the market. The integrated modem supports both LTE-M and NB-IoT and can operate globally removing any need for regional variants. All power saving features including eDRX and PSM are supported as is with IPv4/IPv6 support up to transport and security (TCP/TLS) level. The modem firmware is upgradable via secure, encrypted Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) updates. The Arm Cortex-M33 application processor is supported by 1MB of flash and 256kB RAM making advanced application development possible in a single device solution. A GPS receiver is integrated into the radio offering various modes of operation to suit a wide selection of applications that employ location-tracking functionality. A broad selection of general interfaces and peripherals and are included on nRF9160 including 12-bit ADC, RTC, SPI, I²C, I²S, UARTE, PDM and PWM. Security is best-in-class with 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. Arm CryptoCell enhances security still further by offering cryptographic and security resources to help to protect your IoT applications from various attack threats. CryptoCell is designed for high performance cryptography solutions optimized for energy-constrained devices. The nRF9160 supports both SIM and eSIM for connection and authentication with mobile network operators.


The TRIO mXTEND™ chip antenna component has been specifically designed for providing the major level of flexibility to operate any required frequency band inside any wireless device. TRIO mXTEND™ chip antenna component is capable of operating the main mobile communication standards, enabling worldwide coverage, such as GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800/DCS, GSM1900/PCS, UMTS, LTE700, LTE800, LTE850, LTE900, LTE1700, LTE1800, LTE1900, LTE2000, LTE2100, LTE2300, LTE2500, LTE2600, LTE3500, LTE3600 and LTE3700 (698-960MHz, 1710- 2690MHz and 3400-3800MHz), the main short range wireless bands such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (2400- 2500MHz and 4900-5875MHz), as well as the Global Navigation Satellite Systems such as GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou (1561 MHz, 1575 MHz and 1598-1606 MHz) through the same antenna component. TRIO mXTEND™ features 3 ports, so designers can flexibly use it to fit it in about any wireless architecture including up to three independent radios (e.g. cellular/GNSS/Bluetooth).




The Nordic Thingy:91 features a BME680 low power gas, pressure, temperature & humidity sensor. The sensor module is housed in an extremely compact metal-lid LGA package with a footprint of only 3.0 × 3.0 mm² with a maximum height of 1.00 mm (0.93 ± 0.07 mm). Its small dimensions and its low power consumption enable the integration in battery-powered or frequency-coupled devices, such as handsets or wearables.


It includes an ADXL362, ultralow power, 3-axis MEMS accelerometer that consumes less than 2 µA at a 100 Hz output data rate and 270 nA when in motion triggered wake-up mode. Unlike accelerometers that use power duty cycling to achieve low power consumption, the ADXL362 does not alias input signals by undersampling; it samples the full bandwidth of the sensor at all data rates. The ADXL362 always provides 12-bit output resolution; 8-bit formatted data is also provided for more efficient single-byte transfers when a lower resolution is sufficient. Measurement ranges of ±2 g, ±4 g, and ±8 g are available, with a resolution of 1 mg/LSB on the ±2 g range. For applications where a noise level lower than the normal 550 µg/√Hz of the ADXL362 is desired, either of two lower noise modes (down to 175 µg/√Hz typical) can be selected at minimal increase in supply current. In addition to its ultralow power consumption, the ADXL362 has many features to enable true system level power reduction. It includes a deep multimode output FIFO, a built-in micropower temperature sensor, and several activity detection modes including adjustable threshold sleep and wake-up operation that can run as low as 270 nA at a 6 Hz (approximate) measurement rate. A pin output is provided to directly control an external switch when activity is detected, if desired. In addition, the ADXL362 has provisions for external control of sampling time and/or an external clock. The ADXL362 operates on a wide 1.6 V to 3.5 V supply range, and can interface, if necessary, to a host operating on a separate, lower supply voltage.  Applications include hearing aids, home healthcare devices, motion enabled power save switches, wireless sensors, and motion enabled metering devices


It also includes an ADXL372,  ultralow power, 3-axis, ±200 g MEMS accelerometer that consumes 22 µA at a 3200 Hz output data rate (ODR). The ADXL372 does not power cycle its front end to achieve its low power operation and therefore does not run the risk of aliasing the output of the sensor. In addition to its ultralow power consumption, the ADXL372 has many features to enable impact detection while providing system level power reduction. The device includes a deep multimode output first in, first out (FIFO), several activity detection modes, and a method for capturing only the peak acceleration of over threshold events. Two additional lower power modes with interrupt driven, wake-up features are available for monitoring motion during periods of inactivity. In wake-up mode, acceleration data can be averaged to obtain a low enough output noise to trigger on low g thresholds. In instant on mode, the ADXL372 consumes 1.4 µA while continuously monitoring the environment for impacts. When an impact event that exceeds the internally set threshold is detected, the device switches to normal operating mode fast enough to record the event.  Applications include impact and shock detection, asset health assessment, portable Internet of Things (IoT) edge nodes, and concussion and head trauma detection.


It has a BH1749NUC digital color sensor IC with I 2C bus interface. This IC senses Red, Green, Blue (RGB) and Infrared and converts them to digital values. The high sensitivity, wide dynamic range and excellent Ircut characteristics make it possible for this IC to obtain the accurate illuminance and color temperature of ambient light. It is ideal for adjusting LCD backlight of TV, mobile phone and tablet PC.


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Cellular IoT is used to connect "things" such as sensors to the Internet by piggybacking off of a cellular network.  Cellular IoT has a bright outlook. According to a mobility report by Ericsson, cellular IoT connections are expected to reach 4.1 billion by 2024.





LPWAN is emerging as the fastest growing Internet of Things (IoT) communication technology. The most important LPWAN technologies are Sigfox, LoRa, RPMA, Weightless, LTE-M, NB-IoT and EC-GSM.  LoRa has emerged as the market leader but NB-IoT is the fastest growing and could be the most popular LPWAN technology before long.




LTE-M is the 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project answer to interest in LPWAN solutions that piggyback on standard LTE connectivity while preserving resources. LTE has coverage throughout the US, the Netherlands, and Ireland, with ongoing deployments and regional trials in most major countries. It is likely to overtake GSM for cellular IoT applications. LTE-M stands for “Long Term Evolution for Machines” and  allows IoT devices to piggyback on existing cell networks. With what amounts to a software update, LTE-M-enabled devices can communicate with the cloud, surfing the same waves you use on your cellphone making it suitable for roaming applications such as vehicles and drones and in “mission-critical” applications where real-time data transfer makes a difference, such as in self-driving cars or emergency devices in smart cities.




NB-IoT is another 3GPP construct to challenge the disruption caused by Sigfox and the LoRa Alliance. NB-IoT is different from LTE-M in that it operates outside of the LTE construct.  One advantage to NB-IoT is that it consumes minimal power due to its simpler waveform.  NB-IoT also has cost advantages, chipsets engineered for NB-IoT protocols have simpler construction, reducing the overall component cost.  It is ideal for areas without good LTE coverage, or when you only need to transfer small amounts of information such as with a soil sensor used for smart agriculture or an energy usage monitor used in a smart city. It only uses a narrow band of the total bandwidth projected from cell towers.