Nordic’s new low power cellular IoT solution aims to take cellular beyond just mobile devices and brings cellular connectivity to just about anything you can imagine. The nRF91 Series, says Nordic, sets new benchmarks in terms of integration, size, and power consumption, coupled with its ease-of-use.

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 upcoming nRF91 Series is a global multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT System-in-Package (SiP) integrating a complete low power cellular IoT system into a tiny 10x16x1.2mm package, including modem, transceiver, RF front end, dedicated application processor, Flash memory, power management, and crystal and passive components.

Low-power cellular IoT is positioning itself to be widely adopted in numerous markets and applications including smart utility metering, asset and people (e.g., child) tracking, fleet management, buildings security and safety, remote maintenance, smart vending machines, retail, healthcare and medical monitoring, real-time traffic monitoring, wearables, indoor and outdoor GPS navigation, smart-home technology, automotive (e.g., customized insurance based on actual driving data), and industrial and agricultural automation.

LTE-M and NB-IoT are the two technologies set to drive breadth and growth for the emerging cellular IoT market, projected to surpass 1.5 billion connections by 2021.

The new SiP claims to offer many benefits for these cellular IoT applications, including long battery life, low-cost deployment and maintenance, scalability for potentially billions of devices, a miniaturized form-factor that can fit almost anywhere, and ubiquitous network coverage.

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.

Talking about security, the nRF91 is a highly secure solution. It integrates an Arm Cortex-M33 processor and Arm CryptoCell-310 security IP.

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.

Another noteworthy feature is a 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.

To accelerate product development, the Nordic Semiconductor nRF91 Series is supported by a complete suite of software and easy-to-use development tools.

During an event in Oslo, Nordic also demonstrated the nRF91 operating on the Verizon Wireless Network in the U.S. and on the Telia network in Norway.

Nordic is sampling nRF91 to selected lead customers now. Start of general sampling is planned for mid-2018, with first production quantities available by end of 2018. The nRF91 SIP will be available in variants with and without integrated GPS.

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Upasana Dewan

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