Newsu-blox Announces Compact Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi Module

u-blox Announces Compact Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi Module

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U-blox, a global leader provider of wireless positioning technology and solutions, has unveiled the NORA-W10 Wi-Fi4 and Bluetooth low-energy 5.0 module. This module is designed for applications that require harsh industrial environments where reliability and RF performance as well as small size are essential for medical devices Smart city solutions, as well as retail and warehouse applications.

The NORA-W10 module is the successor to the NINA W10 module, and includes major features that have been added, including Wi-Fi 4 , Bluetooth LE 5.0 and enhanced RF performance, a built-in flash memory with high capacity, as well as lower power usage. The compact module is built on the Espressif-ES32-S3 chipset and houses a powerful dual-core processor with Artificial Intelligence hardware acceleration that is capable of enabling face and speech recognition applications on the edges. It supports a broad range of hardware interfaces, such as USB, CAN, SDIO as well as camera and display interfaces.

Concurrent Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0
With a single-band 2.4 5GHz wireless (802.11b/g/n) The NORA-W10 is a device that is targeted at lower-end Wi-Fi segments which do not require the superior performance of more expensive Wi-Fi 5 or the Wi-Fi 6-modules. With a robust Wi-Fi connection on the move and data rates that are suitable for various industrial applications, WiFi 4 is predicted to be the most commonly utilized Wi-Fi technology for IoT applications by 2025, and will remain at this level for the next few years.

When communicating via Wi-Fi, the NORA-W10 will simultaneously transmit data via Bluetooth low-energy 5.0 that offers speeds of up to 2 Mbps , or by using Bluetooth Long Range, can improve signal propagation ranges as high as four times the distance of conventional Bluetooth LE. Bluetooth mesh support can further increase the coverage of messages by relaying them from node to other up to the point they arrive at their desired destination.

Strong, secure and globally certified
The dual-core Xtensa MCU comes with 8 megabytes of flash memory and 512 kb of RAM and 38 programmable I/Os. The advanced security options, like enhanced cryptographic flash encryption capabilities along with secure boot enable the globally recognized NORA-W10 to run secure applications in a safe and secure environment without the need for additional hardware.

Use examples From fitness equipment to cutting-edge AI
With enough flash to enable updates over-the-air, the module is able to offer a variety of integration options. When integrated into fitness equipment that is connected like the NORA-W10 can simultaneously gather information from the device and from the smartphone of the user through Bluetooth LE 5.0. The data is then transferred over the Wi-Fi network on the premises network to store it in the central.

EV charging stations are able to use this modules Bluetooth LE 5.0 connectivity to make EV box configuration simpler with the use of a smartphone. Additionally they can send charging data to distant service providers through the Wi-Fi network of a nearby access point.

The modules AI features make it ideal for edge-hosted facial and voice recognition, which is utilized by digital assistance and also by smart home and smart office solutions.

U-blox quality and design
“NORA-W10’s large feature range makes it an ideal choice for applications that require Wi-Fi 4 as well as Bluetooth LE 5.0, in many different markets. We’re excited to see what developers of products can do with the dual-core ES32-S3 MCU’s capabilities and the impressive frequency performance that we have achieved through our carefully designed module,” says Magnus Johansson, Product Strategy, Short Range Radio at u-blox.

A lot of the NORA-W10’s distinct features are derived from its U-blox layout. The module measures 10.4 and 14.3 and 1.8 millimeters, is either equipped with trace antennas on PCBs or antenna pins, offering higher RF performance than other alternatives available. The pin/pad compatibility within the U-blox NORA module family enables product makers to target various market segments with the same PCB layout.
The first samples of the NORA-W10 module as well as EVKs which include the USB version are expected to be available in June 2022.

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Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.