Nordic Semiconductor today introduces the ‘Thingy:91’ rapid cellular IoT prototyping platform which is certified for global, low-power, long-range LTE-M/NB-IoT applications, has unique Arm TrustZone security, includes a full range of sensors , plus embedded support courtesy of a Nordic nRF52840 advanced multiprotocol SoC for complementary ultra low power short-range wireless technologies such as Bluetooth 5, Thread, Zigbee, and ANT.
The Nordic Thingy:91 is housed in a 6 x 6-cm plastic and rubber case which includes a USB connector to charge the device’s1440 mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. The Thingy:91’s sensor list includes environmental sensors for measuring temperature, humidity, air quality, and air pressure, plus a color and light sensor, along with separate low-power and additional high G-force accelerometers.
A Nano (4FF) eSIM card from iBasis preloaded with 10MB of data is bundled with the Thingy:91 to enable automatic, instant, out-of-the-box cellular LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity and roaming in a long and growing list of countries with cellular IoT networks.
A prime application for the Thingy:91 is asset tracking, especially as it ships with a full sample asset-tracking application in place. This could take the form of shipping containers where individual items within the container can be tracked via short-range Bluetooth 5 (e.g. location within container and temperature for cold storage goods), with the container itself and any important changes in the status of its contents tracked remotely via long-range cellular wireless technology.
The nRF9160 is a low power System-in-Package (SiP) integrating a dedicated application processor and a multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT modem. It is the most compact cellular IoT (cIoT) solution on the market, measuring just 10 x 16 x 1mm. The application processor includes a 64MHz Arm®Cortex™-M33 CPU with 1MB of flash and 256KB of RAM dedicated for the application.
The nRF9160 SiP has ARM TrustZone for trusted execution and ARM CryptoCell for application layer security. It also has a wide range of interfaces to communicate with sensors and actuators. The nRF9160 SiP is also the only cellular IoT module on the market with integrated GPS support to allow a combination of GPS and cellular data to be used for more accurate positioning than either technology is capable of when used in isolation.
The Nordic Thingy:91 is available now with a recommended retail price of around $119. It is designed to be programmed using Nordic’s dedicated cellular IoT ‘nRF Connect SDK’ with integrated Zephyr RTOS. Software and hardware design files are available from the Nordic Semiconductor website.