Module enables ultra long-range & low-power IoT

4th March 2015
Nat Bowers

Microchip Technology has announced the first in a series of modules for the LoRa technology low-data-rate wireless networking standard. LoRa technology enables IoT and M2M wireless communications with a range of more than 10 miles, a battery life of greater than 10 years, and the ability to connect millions of wireless sensor nodes to gateways.

The 433/868MHz RN2483 is a European R&TTE Directive Assessed Radio Module, accelerating development time while reducing development costs. Additionally, it combines a small module form factor of 17.8x26.3x3mm with 14 GPI/Os, providing the flexibility to connect and control a large number of sensors and actuators while taking up very little space.

The RN2483 comes with the LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can easily connect with the established and rapidly expanding LoRa Alliance infrastructure, including both privately managed LANs and telecomms-operated public networks, to create Low Power WANs (LPWANs) with nationwide coverage. This stack integration also enables the module to be used with any MCU that has a UART interface, including hundreds of Microchip’s PIC MCUs. Additionally, the RN2483 features Microchip’s simple ASCII command interface for easy configuration and control.

The RN2483 module resolves the age-old wireless developer’s dilemma, where they had to choose between longer range and lower power consumption. By employing LoRa technology, designers can now maximise both while reducing the cost of additional repeaters. Additionally, the RN2483 provides them with the ability to secure their network communication using AES-128 encryption.

With its scalability, robust communication, mobility and the ability to operate in harsh outdoor environments, the RN2483 is well suited for a broad range of low-data-rate wireless monitoring and control designs. Example applications include smart cities: street lights, parking and traffic sensors; energy measurement smart meters for electricity, water and gas; and industrial/commercial/home automation applications such as HVAC controls, smart appliances, security systems and lighting.

Samples of the RN2483 are available now and it is expected to be widely available for purchase in May. Development boards are also expected to be available for purchase in May, allowing designers to utilise Microchip’s proven and free MPLAB IDE.

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