Blues upgrades Notecard at Embedded World

  • April 17, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson
  • Blues
Brandon Satrom at Embedded World.

Blues announced at last week’s Embedded World in Nuremberg the Notecard XP (eXternal Power supply), an upgraded edition of Notecard Cellular and the Notecarrier X series, enabling global connectivity.

These are designed to support enterprises operating large-scale projects by connecting large volumes of products with IoT in an economically efficient manner.

The Notecard XP ( removes the need for enterprises to default to chip-down design approaches when enabling IoT support in high volumes of products. By removing components from the base Notecard Cellular, it gives product developers increased design autonomy and flexibility when optimising costs for large initiatives.

“Chip-down cellular initiatives overlook the fully-loaded cost of designing a complete IIoT option, where items like cellular service plans, firmware development and device provisioning are ignored in a BoM calculation, only to pop up later in the form of substantial, up-front investment,” said Brandon Satrom, senior vice president at Blues. “Notecard XP provides the first cost-competitive alternative to chips-down cellular: a Notecard with optionality for an end product BoM, while still retaining the core API and network sunset resilience that customers have come to depend on with the Notecard.”

Built for projects scaling into thousands of devices, the Notecard XP provides a flexible design that adapts to connected products while still providing the same developer experience as a traditional Notecard. The Notecard XP is firmware-compatible with all other Notecards, enabling effortless data routing to any cloud application.

“Customers are finding this to be a welcome announcement,” said Satrom. “They want to know there is a path to scale. They can bet on Blues in the early days and then they can scale.”

In addition to Notecard XP, Blues is also releasing upgraded versions of its existing Notecard Cellular with hardware improvements at a lower cost and a mid-band LTE Cat 1bis offering that requires only a single cellular antenna.

“LTE Cat1bis we think is now economical to add to our product line,” said Satrom.

This capability contrasts with the two antennas required for traditional wideband LTE Cat 1 support. With onboard dual SIM capability, a low-quiescent current power supply, and a mid-band option, Notecard Cellular can deliver improved performance at a lower price.

“When upgrading Notecard Cellular, we prioritised creating an innovative design that reduces costs while making units more compact and accessible,” said Satrom. “The Notecard Cellular now gives large enterprises a coverage option that provides wideband performance at narrowband prices. We’re committed to helping our customers become data-driven as-a-service providers by solving their common cost and connectivity challenges so they can focus on innovating and scaling their business. This approach underscores Blues’ role in advancing the IIoT landscape, making sophisticated connectivity more accessible and cost-effective for businesses.”

The mid-band LTE Cat 1bis option will be offered alongside LTE Cat 1, LTE Cat M and NB-IoT, all of which are available in North American and global coverage models. Coupled with the Notecard Cell+Wifi, Notecard Wifi, Notecard LoRa and Starnote, Blues customers are provided with flexible options for deployment needs and connectivity requirements.

Blues also revealed the Notecarrier X series. Notecarriers offer interfaces for testing and integrating the Notecard into IoT projects. The Notecarrier X is a minimalist line intended to enable low-cost proof of concepts and pilots and improve developers’ design autonomy. The line includes Notecarrier XM and Notecarrier X, which are compatible with all versions of the Notecard except Notecard XP and Notecarrier XP.

Notecard XP, upgraded Notecard Cellular and Notecarrier X offerings will be available for purchase or ordering later this summer on the company’s web site at Existing Notecards will continue to be available for purchase via retail channels.