Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Braveridge, a Fukuoka City, Japan-based Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company, has selected Nordic’s nRF9160 low power System-in-Package (SiP) with integrated LTE-M/NB-IoT modem and GPS to power its ‘BraveTALK PTT GPS Tracker’. BraveTALK enables ‘Push-To-Talk’ (PTT) voice calls like a traditional ‘walkie-talkie’, but using the LTE-M network. It also provides GPS tracking of each BraveTALK device.
Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP enables the LTE-M cellular connectivity as well as GPS tracking, allowing users of the BraveTALK device to easily exchange voice messages globally with the push of a button, without using a screen or tapping characters. The solution can be used for communication and tracking of personnel on a construction site or for tracking delivery trucks and their drivers, for example. The GPS functionality integrated in Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP enables location detection on a map, while the BraveTALK device is also equipped with dual band Wi-Fi to support Wi-Fi location services. BraveTALK operates in conjunction with the ‘BraveGATE Cloud Service’, Braveridge’s proprietary Cloud platform that enables an administrator to remotely monitor the GPS location of individual devices.
LTE-M cellular connectivity and GPS is only activated when the user makes or receives a ‘voice message communication’ enabling a low power consumption design, which in turn extends the life of the Li-Poly STOBA battery used by BraveTALK. The nRF9160 SiP is optimized for low power operation, supporting PSM and eDRX power saving modes. For example, in PSM mode, uploading 1kB every 12 hours, the average current is 5.5µA. When in sleep mode the average current is ~2µA.
The nRF9160 SiP is certified for global cellular IoT applications and comprises a 64 MHz Arm® Cortex®-M33 dedicated application processor with 1 MB Flash and 256 KB RAM, a multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT modem with integrated RF front end (RFFE), GPS, and power management in a compact 10 by 16 by 1mm package. Along with the processor and generous memory allocation, the SiP includes a range of analog and digital peripherals, automated power and clock management, Arm TrustZone® for trusted execution, and Arm CryptoCell™ 310 for application layer security. The processor communicates with the LTE modem through a BSD secure sockets API and supports the application layer protocol (for example CoAP, MQTT or LWM2M) and the application itself.
The nRF9160 SiP’s LTE modem supports both SIM and eSIM, offers 700 to 2200MHz LTE band support, 23dBm output power, and single pin 50 Ω antenna- and UICC-interfaces. The LTE stack layers L1-L3, IPv4/IPv6, TCP/UDP, TLS/DTLS are part of the modem firmware. Related products include the nRF9160 DK, a precertified single board development kit and the nRF Connect SDK, a software development kit which includes application layer protocols, application examples, and LTE modem firmware offered as precertified and precompiled downloads.
“Nordic’s nRF9160 is the world’s first and only cellular IoT SiP that integrates the application processor and thereby eliminates a UART interface to an external processor and the bug issues that can come with that interface,” says Yasunari Kohashi, CEO of Braveridge. “As a result, application development becomes overwhelmingly simple.
“Nordic also provided a great deal of support to realize the voice message communication for BraveTALK. The company truly understood our requirements and made it possible.”
Kohashi is set to deliver a presentation at wireless technologies exhibition, Wireless Japan (June 2-4, 2021 at Tokyo Big Sight Aomi Exhibition Hall) covering what the company has been able to achieve thanks to the significant advantages of Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP.