Nordic Semiconductor has announced that cellular IoT products and applications can now be taken to market in days utilising the first publicly-announced third-party modem to be based on the Nordic multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT nRF9160 SiP.
Called the 'SkywireNano', the NimbeLink modem facilitates this by having performed 'end device certification' for application on both LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular IoT networks globally. This implies any product or application employing the modem will not need to go through the normal carrier certification process.
"Nordic Semiconductor has always been known as the low-power leader in wireless radios," comments Kurt Larson, CTO of NimbeLink. "And the nRF9160 SiP clearly exhibits the company's 'low-power-first' mentality during its design process, resulting in a cellular SiP that is leaps ahead of any product offered by all the other cellular IoT providers in terms of its miniaturized size and low power consumption. The Skywire Nano leverages this to the max to achieve the tiniest 15mm x 22mm x 5mm (estimated) form-factor and lowest power consumption of any cellular IoT modem available on the market today."
Larson continues: "We also really liked the way the Nordic nRF9160 DK design kit enabled us to embed our own code within the nRF9160's on-board 64MHz Arm®Cortex-M33 applications processor in an extremely low power way. By that, I mean other vendors provide applications processors, but their SDKs are not as streamlined as the Nordic nRF9160 DK and can't reach the same low power states."
"Third-party modems make a lot of sense when existing production volumes have yet to scale and in situations where a company wants to test market acceptance before investing further design resources," comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor director of Sales and Marketing. "But above all else, cellular IoT modems further simplify the already simple design process Nordic Semiconductor works so hard to achieve in all its products, and so are a valuable option in the highly diversified global IoT market."