First Module with LTE Modem and GNSS Developed Specifically for IoT

At Electronica 2016u-blox will be showcasing a new module comprising a single mode LTE Category 1 modem and a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning engine specifically designed for IoT and M2M devices. The LARA-R3121 is ideal 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. As a result, they are not usually the best fit for IoT applications. They focus on features targeted at Tier 1 handset makers, limited by short lifecycles. The LARA-R3121 is different, it has been developed with features and qualifications crafted for the industrial markets. 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 small 24 x 26 mm LARA LGA form factor, ideal 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 a first landmark in u-blox's long-term 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.

The essential modem, positioning and module components of the LARA-R3121 are developed in-house, allowing for full freedom for innovative feature development, for enabling end-to-end security and giving full control of product quality, while ensuring the long term product availability required by many IoT applications. Because modem and GNSS technologies were all developed in-house, u-blox is also able to provide unparalleled technical support for developers.

The LARA-R3121 features FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air), providing customers with a solution to issue firmware updates over the air. It also benefits from end-to-end security features, such as secure boot, secure transport layer, secure authentication, secure interfaces and APIs. Like other cellular modules from u-blox, it complies with a nested architecture, which allows for easy migration, and future-proof, seamless mechanical scalability across cellular technologies.

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 removed, reducing cost and power consumption of the module.

The LARA-R3121 can provide data rates of up to 10 Mbits downstream and 5 Mbits upstream throughput for LTE Cat 1, which is sufficient for good quality video streaming.

Click here to learn more abou the LARA-R3121.