Collaboration brings to market enhanced LoRa module platform

18th February 2019
Lanna Cooper

Renesas Electronics and Miromico have announced their collaboration that has produced the compact and low power FMLR-61-x-RSS3 module based on LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology. The new Miromico module enables customers to connect easily to LoRaWAN-based networks that are mushrooming across Europe. The new module employs the innovative Renesas Synergy Platform, giving customers access to microcontrollers and a large production-grade software package.

Engineers can use the S3A6 MCU on the LoRa-based module to handle various tasks, while seamlessly streaming data across a LoRaWAN-based network to the cloud.

The LoRaWAN protocol is quickly becoming the de facto standard to connect the 'Things' of the Internet of Things (IoT) across long distances (up to 50km), flexibly and securely, while keeping batteries alive for years. Both Renesas and Miromico are LoRa Alliance members.

The FMLR-61-x-RSS3 module is only 14.2x19.5mm in size. Its operating voltage is 1.8-3.3V, and the module’s power consumption ranges from just 1.4uA in sleep mode to 25.5mA (typical) in TX mode (14dBm). Receiver sensitivity is -148dBm in LoRa mode SF12@10.4kHz, and the module’s operating temperature range is -40 to 85°C.

A highlight of the module is the use of the new licensed LoRaWAN stack with Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) capabilities. Designed to meet all relevant certifications, the module can be used as a mass-produced LoRa solution in the field. In particular, the module’s specifications make it suitable for urban as well as rural sensing applications such as metering, asset tracking, building automation, security, wearables, predictive maintenance and more.

The FMLR-61-x-RSS3 module employs the S3A6 MCU with integrated 48MHz Arm Cortex-M4 core, and features 256KB code flash memory, 8KB data flash, and 32KB SRAM, which is enough memory to allow engineers to add a variety of their own functions.

Most MCU signals are available at the module level to make them externally accessible. Manufactured in a low-power process, the S3A6 peripheral set includes analogue features such as a 14-bit SAR analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), 12-bit digital-to-analogue converter (DAC), op amps, and comparators.

Various timer channels and serial ports, USB function, CAN, DMA, and powerful safety and security hardware makes the S3A6 a suitable MCU for a wide range of battery-operated applications. In addition, the S3A6 is part of a large Renesas Synergy MCU portfolio, making it easy to scale up to more functionality or scale down for cost optimisation.

The Renesas Synergy Platform features the Synergy Software Package (SSP), which comprises a large selection of production-grade software. SSP includes the ThreadX RTOS and lots of associated middleware such as a file system, USB stack, Graphical User Interface (GUI) software, application frameworks and functional libraries that can be used for encryption and DSP functions.

This combination of hardware and software helps customers significantly accelerate their product development schedule.

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