U-blox has introduced the compact dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth LE based NORA-W3 module series for back-end connectivity of devices.
System integration becomes intricate with an increase in the number of connected devices. Connectivity on the other hand becomes more important for a system to function precisely. There are several connectivity problems associated with a system which may include saturation of WiFi channels in the 2.4GHz band and even size constraints.
U-blox has introduced NORA-W3 modules comprising a compact dual-band WiFi 4 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth LE 5. These are based upon a Realtek Ameba chipset. The module consists of a u-connectXpress feature embedded in it to simplify the task of integration for designers. This feature requires only high-level AT commands for functioning.
Although the module is compact in size, it has two microcontrollers(MCUs) integrated in it : an Arm Cortex-M33 compatible, 200 MHz as the main MCU, and an Arm Cortex-M23 compatible, 20 MHz for low power operation. The complete communication firmware runs on the module. To refine the integration process, the module comes with an option to use an embedded antenna.
The dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth LE ensures a robust WiFi connection when being used due to its ability to operate in the less congested 5 GHz band while the Bluetooth LE capability ensures ease of use and installation. The u-connectXpress reduces software effort by eliminating the need for competence in embedded WiFi and Bluetooth LE allowing solutions to be delivered rapidly to the user.
The device measures just 14.3mm x 10.4mm x 1.9mm. This makes the module suitable for compact designs. NORA-W3 is an upgrade, from single to dual band and can therefore work to connect infrastructure, back-end devices, sensors and mobile devices.