» Current | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | Subscribe

Linley Newsletter

Nordic Expands Into Cellular IoT

February 13, 2018

Author: Bob Wheeler

Following its success in Bluetooth 5 MCUs, Nordic has entered the cellular market with new products for LTE-M (Category M1) and NB-IoT. Rather than introduce only an SoC, it worked with Qorvo to develop a complete system-in-package (SiP) that incorporates that company’s RF front end along with Nordic’s MCU and radio. The new NRF91-series also includes versions with integrated GPS for asset trackers. Nordic is sampling the SiPs to lead customers and has demonstrated them on Telia and Verizon LTE-M networks.

The heart of the NRF91 SiP is a custom SoC that integrates an application processor, an undisclosed amount of RAM and flash memory, an LTE baseband and transceiver, a GPS receiver, and power management. It has a Cortex-M33 CPU, which adds TrustZone security features and outperforms Cortex-M4. The design includes Arm’s optional CryptoCell-310 core for root of trust and accelerated over-the-air encryption. Nordic supplements its hardware with a software-development kit, as it does for the NRF52. The SoC’s integrated transceiver covers 700MHz to 2.2GHz and handles both LTE-M and NB-IoT bandwidths, delivering data rates of up to 360kbps and 60kbps, respectively. The NRF91 SiP comes in a 10mm x 16mm LGA with 0.5mm pitch and includes all necessary crystals and passive components.

The NRF91 is equivalent to LTE-M modules from companies such as Gemalto, Sierra Wireless, Telit Communications, and U-blox, but it occupies at least 40% less board area. Nordic is later to market with LTE-M than other chip vendors; Altair (Sony), Qualcomm, and Sequans have all reached production. By taking a step up the supply chain, it’s minimizing time to market, narrowing the lead of competing chip vendors.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

Subscribe to the Microprocessor Report and always get the full story!

Purchase the full article

Free Newsletter

Linley Newsletter
Analysis of new developments in microprocessors and other semiconductor products
Subscribe to our Newsletter »


Linley Fall Processor Conference 2021
Coming October 20-21, 2021
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Santa Clara, CA
Register Now!
Linley Spring Processor Conference 2021
April 19 - 23, 2021
Proceedings Available
More Events »