Wireless Connectivity

Video: Ultra-low power edge computing LoRa BLE connectivity for IoT in a single package module solution

08 December 2020

Radio frequency and wireless solutions manufacturer Northern Mechatronics has chosen the Apollo3 Blue microprocessor (MCU) from Ambiq for its latest long range (LoRa) Bluetooth 5 low energy module (BLE), NM180100, a single-package solution for internet of things (IoT) applications.

The NM180100 is purpose-built to enable edge and endpoint computing with short and long-range wireless communication capability in a highly integrated and flexible single package module solution. By combining Apollo3 Blue MCU, the NM180100 can achieve ultra-low power consumption in all application states including computing, transmitting, receiving or deep sleep.

With the rapid growth of the industrial IoT and the recent 5G rollout, the need for faster time-to-market can Source: AmbiqSource: Ambiqeasily make or break a solution provider in today’s competitive landscape. The NM180100, supported by a wide range of design resources, including the evaluation board NM180100EVB, the NM180310 small form factor application board, a software development kit, full programmability and regulatory certifications for FCC and IC/ISED, is the only turnkey solution in the growing IoT market.

With 1 MB of on-module flash memory and 384 kB of static random-access memory, the NM180100 allows applications to run two radio stacks simultaneously (BLE and low-power wide-area network, or LoRaWAN) with ample memory remaining for over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates via either LoRaWAN or BLE. Page-level locking in the flash memory allows the application to maintain regulatory certifications without impacting critical firmware components such as the radio stacks. The architecture design significantly reduces the end-product cost by eliminating the need for an additional application processor typical of many other LoRaWAN module solutions.

The Apollo3 possesses a secure interface (ISO 7816), including secure boot and secure OTA firmware upgrade over Bluetooth. Built on Ambiq’s patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT) platform, the Apollo3 Blue further enhances the power efficiency on Arm Cortex M4F with DSP instructions by enabling designers to perform raw data pre-processing before transmission over the air, in so doing improving the battery life by reducing the amount of raw data transmitted.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com

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