Friday, March 1, 2024

NB-IoT Module For Size-Constrained Applications

By Nidhi Agarwal

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u-blox has introduced the smallest Long-Term Evolution for Machines/Narrowband Internet of Things (LTE-M/NB-IoT) module with a compact size of 16 x 16 mm, featuring an RF output power of 23dBm and 2G fallback capability.

LEXI-R422

The u-blox, a provider of positioning and wireless communication technologies and services, has launched LEXI-R4, a compact module designed to meet the demands of size-limited applications. The company claims that the module measures 16 x 16 mm and supports all Long-Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) and Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) bands and offers a Radio Frequency (RF) output power of 23 dBm. Additionally, it can operate on a 2G network for added flexibility. The module is suited for various use cases, including small asset trackers like pet and personal trackers, micro-mobility devices, and luggage tags. However, its versatility extends to other applications such as alarm systems, vending machines, and stolen vehicle recovery.

The compact module achieves a 40% reduction in footprint compared to similar modules, allowing the potential integration of larger antennas for improved RF performance or accommodating larger batteries. As per the press release, the module features 2G fallback capability. When LTE-M/NB-IoT coverage is suboptimal, the module seamlessly transitions to a 2G network, ensuring continuous functionality. This feature is particularly useful in countries where LTE-M/NB-IoT networks are still fully deployed. Additionally, the module is designed to support Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) AT commands and is compatible with GNSS bundling. Its dedicated port facilitates easy integration with any other GNSS module, enhancing performance and low power consumption. 

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“The u-blox LEXI-R4 is an ideal solution for size-constrained applications. Since the module supports the u-blox M10 GNSS platform, customers save execution time and resources. This is because the AT commands and a dedicated I2C port can operate the GNSS core, thus eliminating the need to integrate additional code into the MCU. In addition, the LEXI-R4 module offers a single SKU with global LPWA (low-power wide-area) coverage that simplifies logistics,” says Samuele Falcomer, Senior Product Line Manager, Product Center Cellular at u-blox.

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