ST’s LoRa kit adds low-power radio to STM32 MCU scene

September 16, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics has a low-cost development kit that makes use of the STM32 microcontroller ecosystem for prototyping Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices with LoRa Wireless Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity.

Priced at $40, the P-NUCLEO-LRWAN1 kit combines the ultra-low-power STM32L073 Nucleo ( NUCLEO-L073RZ) microcontroller board with an RF expansion board based on the SX1272 LoRa transceiver from Semtech ( I-NUCLEO-SX1272D). The STM32L073 MCU, with its ARM Cortex-M0+ core and proprietary ultra-low-power features, provides a host for devices such as utility meters, alarm systems, positioning devices, trackers, and remote sensors. Users can extend functionality by adding extra expansion boards, such as the X-NUCLEO-IKS01A1 sensor board for motion, humidity, and temperature sensing.


LoRa enables long-range communication with several advantages over conventional cellular connections, including lower power and cost. Versatile features include multiple communication modes, accurate indoor and outdoor location awareness, and native AES-128 security.


The new kit contains everything needed to build bi-directional end devices that comply with LoRaWAN version 1.0.1 and support class A and class C protocols. Devices can be activated using Over-The-Air Activation (OTAA) or Activation-By-Personalization (ABP). An application for LoRaWAN certification tests is included in the kit, and the I-CUBE-LRWAN LoRaWAN stack is available and posted at


Access to the STM32 ecosystem provides development resources, including STM32Cube tools and software packages containing sample code and Hardware Abstraction Layers (HALs). These allow porting to any of the almost 700 STM32 MCU variants that cover a wide range of performance, power, packages, and price points. Developers are also free to use familiar IDEs and ARM mbed online tools.