Full-featured Bluetooth 5 module for smart city applications

3rd October 2017
Alice Matthews

Global provider of wireless and positioning modules and chips, u‑blox, has announced the launch of its full Bluetooth 5 compliant NINA-B3 wireless MCU module. Featuring Bluetooth low energy long range connectivity, high data transfer rates and supporting Bluetooth mesh and 802.15.4, NINA‑B3 caters to applications in smart buildings, smart cities, and the Industry 4.0, including smart lighting systems, industrial sensor networks, asset tracking solutions, and building automation systems.

“We’re very excited to present u‑blox’s solution to bring, for the first time, Bluetooth technology to applications that require long range connectivity and high data rates,” said Pelle Svensson, Market Development Manager, Product Centre Short Range Radio at u‑blox.” Based on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 chip, the u‑blox NINA‑B3 Bluetooth low energy module stands out for the attention given to streamlining product development.

The full Bluetooth 5 NINA‑B3 module is available in two flavours. The first variant, NINA‑B31, comes pre-flashed with u-blox’s Connectivity Software, the most feature-rich and easy-to-use on the market. For product developers, eliminating the need for embedded programming means smoother, hassle-free integration and accelerated time-to-market. And u‑blox’s proprietary secure boot ensures that security needs are met, even for the most critical industrial and medical applications.

The second variant, NINA‑B30, gives customers a broader scope of application thanks to Bluetooth mesh and Thread support as well as access to a whole host of wired and wireless interfaces. Its powerful Cortex M4F microcontroller can run advanced applications right on the module, reducing external hardware needs and, ultimately, shrinking end device size and cutting costs.

NINA‑B3 is available with a highly sensitive internal antenna specifically designed for the module’s small form factor, achieving optimal radio range performance even in small end product designs. Pin compatibility with the other u‑blox NINA short-range communication modules limits design effort for product developers developing multiple device variants, e.g. featuring only WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity.

Customers can expect to get their hands on first samples by Q1 2018.

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