Multiradio & Gateway Modules with Concurrent Wi-Fi & Dual-mode Bluetooth Connectivity

u-blox has released a new multiradio and gateway module series, the NINA-W15, which simultaneously supports both Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connections and dual-mode Bluetooth connectivity. This includes support for both Bluetooth low energy and Bluetooth BR/EDR. Concurrent support for these radio interfaces gives customers design versatility. The modules will be particularly useful in products such as gateways and hubs that need to connect local Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi peripherals to a wider-area network.

According to Stefan Berggren, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Product Center Short Range Radio at u‑blox, the new modules offer the ideal combination of radio interfaces, security features, proven connectivity software, and a small footprint necessary to enable cost-effective industrial and medical applications. Several industries are focusing on digitalization and a common scenario is to connect a huge number of sensors and actuators to a back-end system or to cloud service, for analysis and visualization or even controlling applications.

Key applications for the modules include industrial automation, such as machine control, industrial terminal and remote controls, building automation, and smart building/home equipment such as HVAC and lighting control. Other potential use cases include retail point-of-sale terminals, telematics control units, and medical equipment such as defibrillators and urology monitors.

The NINA-W15 modules will help IoT device developers to secure their designs by supporting features such as secure boot, Wi-Fi enterprise security, end to end security, Bluetooth secure connections, and secure simple pairing. The modules are also supplied with pre-flashed u-blox connectivity software. This has been proven in the market for 15 years, and supports several connectivity use cases, such as multiple individually controlled connections, simultaneous GATT protocol and Serial Port Service, and simultaneous peripheral and central role. These features can be accessed by a host microcontroller by using simple AT commands to configure and control the modules, and to control communications with external Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices.

The modules are compact and available with an internal antenna (NINA-W15, measuring 10 x 14 x 3.8 mm) or a pin through which to drive an external antenna (NINA-W151, measuring 10 x 10.6 x 2.2 mm). They are part of the NINA family of pin-compatible short range radio stand-alone modules, enabling designers to evolve existing products that already use single-radio NINA modules to support multiple radio interfaces, or to design new product lines that offer a variety of radio interface options.

Designers will be able to reduce their time to market by taking advantage of u-blox’s know-how specific to product quality, qualification, certification, as well as its experience of helping customers bring products to the industrial and medical markets. Initial production is planned for Q1-2019.