Nordic nRF9160 SiP enters final volume production phase having passed all major certifications required for end-product deployment

Written by Mike Benson

August 20, 2019

The nRF9160 system-in-package (SiP) is ready for mass deployment in both LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular networks and cellular IoT product applications around the globe.

Nordic Semiconductor announced that its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) LTE-M/NB-IoT and GPS cellular IoT module has entered final volume silicon production phase having successfully passed a series of major qualifications and certifications.

These include: GCF, PTCRB, FCC (U.S. & LAT AM), CE (E.U.), ISED (Canada), ACMA (Australia & New Zealand), TELEC/RA (Japan), NCC (Taiwan), and IMDA (Singapore).

At just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, the nRF9160 SiP is suitable for even compact consumer and medical wearables, and asset-tracking devices. Yet it is a complete solution that integrates everything a cellular connection and IoT application may need beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna.

The nRF9160 SiP’s modem and MCU were designed from the ground-up for optimized power performance in IoT systems. This enables nRF9160 SiP-based devices to stay connected to a cellular network with unparalleled low power consumption.

The nRF9160 SiP’s modem and MCU were designed from the ground-up for optimized power performance in IoT systems

The nRF9160 SiP is also available on a powerful single-board Development Kit (DK) made for the IoT application developer. This DK comes with free development tool support, a Cloud demonstration platform, and a Software Development Kit (SDK) in GitHub with sample applications to provide a great starting point for product development.

To achieve the nRF9160 SiP’s ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvo to make a SiP that integrates application processor, power management, modem, RF front-end, crystals, and passives. The nRF9160 SiP also 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.

In parallel, the nRF9160 SiP is the first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm’s latest Arm® Cortex™ M33 CPU core, which is further supported by 1MB of Flash and 256kB of RAM on-board memory. The nRF9160 SiP is also the first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell security for Internet-level encryption and application protection with Arm Cortex M-based devices.

The nRF9160 SiP is also the only cellular IoT module on the market with integrated GPS support to allow a combination of GPS and cellular data to be used for more accurate positioning than either technology is capable of when used in isolation.

Assett Tracker Application On-Board

The Nordic Thingy:91 comes with a pre-loaded asset-tracking application that makes use of many of the on-kit sensors in addition to LTE-M and GPS which works from device to the cloud to provide users with a working out-of-the-box asset tracking and monitoring experience when they receive the Thingy:91. the asset tracker application is richly featured for this usecase, however Nordic Thingy:91 can be programmed with any dedicated application of your choice.

State-of-the-art Security with Arm Trustzone

Security is critically important to IoT. The nRF9160 takes the latest  addition to Cortex-M architectures by using Arm TrustZone for secure boot and secure execution within the device. The technology has been the mainstay of secure operation in Cortex-A devices and is typically used to build secure operation in smartphones and tablets.

Based around nRF9160 SiP for LTE-M & NB-IoT 

Built around the nRF9160 system-in-Package (SiP), nRF9160 has a separate application/radio modem architecture. It incorporates the latest Arm Cortex-M33 as a dedicated application processor. The dedicated radio system can support both LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies. The radio also supports GPS for precise positioning in your applications. The nRF9160 SiP integrates a full front-end RF system together with a complete power management system.

Develop Cellular IoT and Bluetooth Hybrid Applications

Nordic Thingy:91 has Nordic’s flagship multiprotocol SoC for short-range application, the nRF52840. The nRF52840 supports multiprotocol performance with a broad range of protocols including Bluetooth 5 and NFC. Short-range wireless has some very exciting possibilities when used in conjunction with cellular IoT technology and Nordic Thingy:91 enables you to explore these possibilities.

Broad Selection of Sensors and Features On-Board

The Nordic Thingy:91 has is packed with sensors to offer a broad range of development possibilities.

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