Low power cellular IoT

Enabling a world of everything connected

Cellular IoT applications

The cellular IoT technology enables many new applications, however, if you put ultra-low power into the mix the potential applications grow exponentially. 

The nRF9160 is Nordic’s first low-power cellular device for the Internet of Things. It has been engineered from inception to perform at the highest possible standards for energy efficiency and security whilst simultaneously bringing advanced application performance and possibilities to cellular IoT. With an unprecedented level of integration bringing LTE-M, NB-IoT, GPS, all RF front end (RFFE), and power management into a very small package the nRF9160 make single-chip solutions a real possibility in many cases.

Complementary LTE technologies

Asset Tracking

Where are my things?

logoAnnually, billions of dollars are wasted due to assets getting lost, damaged, or stolen. Reliable asset tracking is a cheap and effective way to monitor and locate assets.

The nRF9160 provides ultra-low power tracking through the cellular networks over LTE-M and NB-IoT, plus integrated GPS support. This gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to location services, with the LTE-based location for low power and lower accuracy and the integrated GPS delivering high accuracy tracking.

Recommended Hardware:

  • Nordic Thingy 91 - This is a cellular prototyping platform that can be used as a quick proof of concept with the Asset Tracking app running by default. Nordic Thingy:91 has the nRF9160 SiP, a single LTE-M/NB-IoT/GPS antenna, and an extensive set of user-controlled external sensors.
  • nRF9160 DK - Use this kit to quickly develop and test your application. It has a programmer/debugger chip for quick evaluation and programming of the application. It is possible to connect to external components through the exposed I/O interface + dedicated antennas for GPS and LTE-M/NB-IoT. Power consumption can be measured with the Power Profiler Kit 2 (or third party equipment) and the Online power profiler can be used to estimate battery life.

 

Recommended Software:

In our nRF Connect SDK we have two Asset Tracker applications that can be used as a reference and a starting point to your application development:

Asset Tracking - nRF9160

Where are my things?

How nRF9160 enables cellular IoT asset tracking

Smart Metering

Putting the "smarts" into metering

logoUtility infrastructures are increasingly complex to manage and maintain. Disruptive technologies are forcing the utility infrastructure to evolve (renewable energy, wind, solar, and hydrogen) presenting a big opportunity for smart metering.

Smart meters enable the collection and processing of metered information to provide:

  • Monitor and control the utility infrastructure
  • Drive efficiencies in the transmission and distribution networks
  • Improve operations
  • Make data available for end-users to make better choices

 

Recommended Hardware:

  • nRF9160 Development Kit - Use this kit to quickly develop and test your application. It has a programmer/debugger chip for quick evaluation and programming of the application. It is possible to connect to external components through the exposed I/O interface + dedicated antennas for GPS and LTE-M/NB-IoT. Power consumption can be measured with the Power Profiler II (or third party equipment) and the Online power profiler can be used to estimate battery life.
  • Thingy:91 - This is a cellular prototyping platform that can be used as a quick proof of concept. Nordic Thingy:91 has the nRF9160 SiP, a single LTE-M/NB-IoT/GPS antenna, and an extensive set of user-controlled external sensors.

 

Recommended Software:

For smart metering applications, it is recommended to use UDP-based protocols when communicating with a server to avoid unnecessary overhead and save power. In our nRF Connect SDK we have several samples that are an excellent starting point for your smart metering applications:

Smart Metering - nRF9160

Putting the "smarts" into metering

nRF9160 - Putting the "smarts" into smart meters

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