Monday, May 20, 2024

Bluetooth Low Energy Modules Enhance IoT Connectivity

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The new versatile Bluetooth LE modules offer powerful processing and high-security features for high-end and industrial IoT applications.

U-blox has unveiled two new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) portfolio additions: ALMA-B1 and NORA-B2. These modules are built on the nRF54 Series Systems-on-Chips (SoCs) from Nordic Semiconductor and support Bluetooth LE 5.4 and Thread/Matter technologies. They are engineered to be compact, power-efficient, and secure, making them ideal for many Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

ALMA-B1 is a high-end wireless microcontroller unit (MCU) designed for demanding IoT applications such as industrial automation, healthcare, and smart homes. Due to its extensive processing capabilities, it can serve as an anchor point in indoor positioning systems. On the other hand, NORA-B2 is tailored for less complex applications requiring ultra-low power consumption, such as asset tracking tags. With the IoT market rapidly expanding,  Bluetooth LE device shipments will double by 2028. This growth is driven by the advent of new applications fueled by AI, Edge Machine Learning, and sensor fusion, which demand higher security, more processing power, and efficient battery usage.

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The key features include:

  • Compact size: 10 x 11 mm or 10 x 14 mm
  • Global certifications for easy integration into existing designs
  • Two antenna options available: Antenna pin and Embedded PCB antenna

The modules are powered by nRF54H20 and nRF54L15 low-power multiprotocol SoCs, respectively. These chips provide the necessary processing power for edge computing and machine learning without the need for additional components. ALMA-B1, with its superior processing power, can even replace general-purpose MCUs in compact solutions. Both modules also offer significant reductions in power consumption. NORA-B2, for example, consumes up to 50% less current compared to previous generations of BLE modules, leading to smaller batteries or longer battery life in end products. In terms of security, they are designed for PSA Certified Level 3, offering top-notch IoT security features such as secure boot, secure storage, secure debug interfaces, and hardware crypto accelerators. They also include advanced security features like physical tamper detection and protection against side-channel attacks.

Samples of ALMA-B1 and NORA-B2 will be available in the third quarter of 2024, offering wireless MCU options for a wide range of applications in the IoT market.

Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Sondhi Gaur is a journalist at EFY. She has a German patent and brings a robust blend of 7 years of industrial & academic prowess to the table. Passionate about electronics, she has penned numerous research papers showcasing her expertise and keen insight.

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