U-Blox LTE-M modules suit fixed and mobile

  • February 7, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

Swiss firm U-Blox has announced two LTE-M cellular modules for fixed and mobile applications such as metering and utility, asset tracking and monitoring, and healthcare.

The Sara-R52 and Lexi-R52 modules are based on the firm’s UBX-R52 cellular chip and are tailored for integrated and concurrent positioning and wireless communications.

Features embedded within the UBX-R52 chip should help users dispense with additional components to design their products.

For example, SpotNow is a positioning feature that provides position data with a 10m accuracy within a couple of seconds. It is meant for occasional tracking applications such as recycling waste dumpsters, elderly trackers or cleaning machines.

The uCPU feature lets users run their own software within the chip without using an external MCU. The uSCM smart connection manager, on the other hand, is for automatic connectivity management to achieve either best performance or lowest power consumption, for example when a connection is lost and needs to be re-established.

The R52 series also introduces a combo module designed to offer simultaneous GNSS and cellular connectivity, an important attribute for applications requiring continuous or cyclic tracking. The Sara-R520M10 combo module comes equipped with an integrated M10 GNSS receiver and ensures concurrent tracking with low-power consumption, better TTFF and improved RF sensitivity. It is tailored for users who seek the simplicity of pre-integrated cellular and GNSS.

Many LTE-M modules only offer an RF output power of 20-21dBm, whereas the R52 series offers 23dBm, ensuring stable connectivity in difficult coverage conditions. The Lexi-R52 (www.u-blox.com/en/product/lexi-r520-module) provides the same features as the Sara-R52 (www.u-blox.com/en/product/sara-r52-series), but in a smaller form factor (16 by 16 by 2mm), suitable for applications such as wearables.

Samples are available now, with volume production scheduled for Q3 2024.

With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, U-Blox (www.u-blox.com) is globally present, with offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.