Swift Labs Uses Nordic’s LTE-M/NB-IoT SiP to Develop the Ideal Industrial IoT Module

Canadian wireless hardware design specialists, Swift Labs, has used the Nordic nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) in their highly-reliable intrinsically-safe industrial IoT (IIoT) module that can bring even the most sensitive and highly-regulated IIoT environment and material applications to market in just 3 to 6 months.

Swift Labs defines IIoT applications as ones where components have to perform 100 percent reliably, require a long battery life and in the event of failure scenarios such as being crushed, fail safely so as not create a fire, overheating, or sparking risk, particularly in explosive and flammable environments. There is no room for error in any single aspect of the design from the fail-safe components on the PCB to trace width sizing, to the unique anti-ESD (electrostatic discharge) enclosure which are all designed with the utmost scrutiny in terms of operational reliability and fail-safe predictability.

The Swift Labs ‘Design Blocks’ PCB measures just 55 x 36 x 4.9mm in size, includes GPS and LTE antennas, plus an extended list of customizable sensing options including 9-axis absolute orientation, air pressure and humidity, time-of-flight, and air quality. Utilizing the on-board capabilities of the Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 SiP. The Design Blocks platform also offers an accelerometer and temperature sensor as standard, multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT capabilities, GPS, and a powerful Arm Cortex -M33 application processor.

All an IIoT customer needs to do to incorporate the module into an application is define the use case and Swift Labs will rapidly productize a custom solution fit for the global market and adhering to C1D1 system design principles. This runs from valve status in an oil and gas pipeline [‘on, ‘off’, ‘faulty’] to making sure vital medications are 100 % tracked, traced, and stored at the correct temperature during transportation.

Industrial IoT is set to become one of the biggest early adopters of cellular IoT wireless technology. The main reason for this is that the operational optimization benefits far outweigh the initial set-up and installation costs. Because of the safety-critical nature of many IIoT applications, the decades-proven reliability and security of cellular wireless network technology, and global pre-installed coverage, makes it a compelling choice.