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u-blox announces new, compact dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE modules

By Eric Van Rees - 8th November 2022 - 09:48

u-blox, a global provider of leading positioning and wireless communication technologies and services, has announced the NORA-W3 module series that extend their Wi-Fi stand-alone module portfolio, making dual-band capability available for the first time in this compact form factor.

This series is aimed at market segments such as healthcare, HVAC, energy management, EV charging, professional grade power tools and industrial sensing or monitoring applications.

As connectivity becomes more important in multiple application sectors, designers are faced with an increasing number of challenges including saturation of Wi-Fi channels in the 2.4 GHz band, size constraints, need for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) to work in conjunction to connect to infrastructure, back-end systems, sensors and mobile devices. Additionally, there is a constant trade-off between cost and functionality and with many companies entering this space for the first time, a need to be able to configure solutions without advanced Wi-Fi connectivity knowledge.

The new NORA-W3 modules comprise dual band Wi-Fi 4 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth LE 5 based upon a Realtek Ameba chipset. The modules feature u-connectXpress to simplify the task of integration for designers, only requiring the use of high-level AT commands. Despite their small size, they also integrate two microcontrollers (MCUs): an Arm Cortex-M33 compatible, 200 MHz as the main MCU, and an Arm Cortex-M23 compatible, 20 MHz for low power operation. This system allows the complete communication firmware to run on the module. To further smoothen the integration process, NORA-W3 comes with the option to use an embedded antenna.

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