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InfoQ Homepage News The NM180100 Enables Low-Energy Edge and Endpoint Computing with Short and Long-Range Communication

The NM180100 Enables Low-Energy Edge and Endpoint Computing with Short and Long-Range Communication

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Northern Mechatronics announced NM180100, its latest LoRa Bluetooth 5 low-energy module for IoT applications. The NM180100 uses an Apollo3 Blue microprocessor to achieve low power consumption in all operating states of the device together with versatile communication capabilities in a single package module solution.

Dr. Joshua Wong, executive chairman and CEO at Northern Mechatronics, claimed that the combination of computing power and low-energy profile distinguishes the NM180100 from other devices:

Until the development of the NM180100, an ultra-low power single package IoT solution possessing short-range and long-range communications and edge computing capability without sacrificing battery life has been a pipe dream.

The NM180100 boasts ultra-low-power consumption in all application states, including computing, transmitting, receiving, or deep sleep. According to Northern Mechatronics, the NM180100 consumes 10 times less power than comparable products, with an advertised consumption of 6uA/MHz for the processor, and between 2 and 2.7uA in the sleep state.

The NM180100 additionally carries 1 MB of on-module flash memory and 384 kB of static random-access memory. This allows the device to have its two radio stacks on simultaneously. The short-range Bluetooth 5 Low Energy (BLE) can be run simultaneously with the low-power wide-area network (LoRaWAN) with memory still left on the device for computing purposes and over-the-air firmware updates.

The Apollo3 Blue (ARM® Cortex® M4 with FPU up to 96MHz) participates in battery life savings with its low-energy profile and DSP instructions that support data pre-processing and may reduce the volume of transmitted raw data.

With an operating temperature that may take any value between -40° to +85°C, the NM180100 may be used in IoT applications in harsh environments.

The Bluetooth customary range goes from below 10m (Bluetooth class 3) up to 100m (Bluetooth class 1). In contrast, LoRa claims a physical range extending beyond 10 km. The combination of both technologies facilitates both edge and endpoint computing.

A large number of IoT devices use batteries as a power source — typically small ones of between 1 and 3 V. Frugal use of power is thus often desirable for IoT devices in a large range of industrial applications in which devices must operate for long periods without downtime, or it is inconvenient to frequently replace batteries on devices scattered in the field.

InfoQ previously reported on one IoT application in the agriculture sector in which devices monitoring the stress of dairy cows could operate on a battery for five years in an outdoor environment.

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