LTE/GNSS module designed for IoT applications

November 08, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Swiss module maker u-blox has configured its LARA-R3121 product as the first cellular module with u-blox' proprietary UBX-R3 LTE modem technology and integrated GNSS.

The module hosts a single mode LTE Category 1 modem and a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning engine specifically designed for IoT and M2M devices. LTE modem, GNSS and module technology were all developed in-house at u-blox. The LARA-R3121 is inteded for IoT applications including smart utility metering, connected health and patient monitoring, smart buildings, security and video surveillance, smart payment and POS systems, as well as wearable devices, such as action cameras.

 

“Most IoT modules on the market use LTE modem technology, developed by handset-focused silicon vendors. They may not provide the best fit for IoT applications, because they focus on features targeted at Tier 1 handset makers, limited by short lifecycles. The LARA-R3121 is different with features and qualifications crafted for the industrial markets,” said Andreas Thiel, u-blox Co-Founder and Executive VP, Cellular Products & IC Design. “This is the only cellular module comprising a LTE Cat 1 modem and a GNSS engine, with complete module hardware and software all developed by a single supplier.”

 

The LARA-R3121 is supplied in the 24 x 26 mm LARA LGA form factor, for compact IoT devices. This standardized package enables straightforward automated manufacturing, and it is pin-compatible with the u-blox LARA-R2 series, which supports multimode LTE Cat 1 with 2G/3G fallback. It is part of the company's strategy to create modules based on the UBX-R3 LTE modem technology platform, an internally developed, flexible, software-defined modem architecture specifically designed for IoT and M2M. In-house development benefits customers

 

The LARA-R3121 features FOTA, providing customers with a solution to issue firmware over the air updates. It also has end-to-end security features, such as secure boot, secure transport layer, secure authentication, secure interfaces and APIs. As a single mode, LTE-only device, LARA-R3121 takes advantage of the fact that LTE networks are becoming universally available. Increasingly, products do not require fallback to 3G or 2G, which means that non-essential components can be