Industry’s smallest 3G module suits M2M applications

16th December 2013
Nat Bowers

Expanding the SARA cellular module family, u-blox has introduced 3G variants in the SARA-U2 series. Supplied in a 16x26mm LGA form factor, these modules are the industry’s smallest surface mount UMTS/HSPA cellular modems and suit a variety of industrial M2M, vehicle and consumer applications.

Target applications include connected navigation systems, mobile-internet devices, security and surveillance systems, eCall, fleet management, metering, anti-theft and usage-based insurance systems, and battery driven handheld applications.

The SARA-U2 series is available either as cost-efficient 3G only versions (SARA-U280 and SARA-U290), or with GSM/GPRS fall-back capability (SARA-U260 and SARA-U270). The UMTS/HSPA modules are pin-compatible with SARA-G3 GSM/GPRS modules, as well as layout compatible with LISA-C2 CDMA and TOBY-L1 LTE modules to support future-proof 4G designs.

All SARA modules share the exact same form-factor and footprint. this enables modems to be “hot-swapped” across the entire range of  u‑blox 2G, 3G and 4G cellular modems. The modules suit M2M applications which need UMTS/HSPA, GSM/GPRS, voice and/or data, plus optional Internet suite (embedded TCP/IP, UDP/IP, HTTP and FTP). They also provide in-band modem support for eCall and ERA GLONASS vehicle emergency call applications and feature low power consumption for battery powered communication applications. Supplied in a Land Grid Array form factor, the SARA-U2 series enables extremely compact designs and supports A-GPS for accelerated positioning used in telematics devices. Indoor positioning is facilitated through the company's unique CellLocate hybrid positioning technology.

Thomas Nigg, Vice President, Product Marketing, u‑blox, commented: “SARA-U2 is the smallest 3G module on the market, allowing the creation of ultra-compact 3G solutions at price points unthinkable before. The 2G fall-back option makes it the ideal choice for systems that must deliver maximum coverage. u‑blox now provides the industry’s most comprehensive, cross-compatible selection of cellular modems supporting all mobile standards.”

SARA-U2 UMTS/HSPA module prototypes are available in February 2014. Samples will be available in April 2014.

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