Nordic Semiconductor introduces new nRF91 Series SiPs

22nd June 2023
Harry Fowle

Nordic Semiconductor has announced its comprehensive, end-to-end cellular IoT solution with support for DECT NR+.

Comprising new products based on the award-winning and proven nRF91 Series Systems-in-Package (SiPs), Nordic’s new cellular IoT offering brings simplicity, stability, and cost efficiency through chipsets, modules, software, and services designed, controlled, and supplied by Nordic. This is the first time a fully inclusive, world-class cellular IoT solution has been offered through a single company. 

“Today’s announcement positions Nordic Semiconductor as the pre-eminent supplier of cellular IoT solutions,” says Svenn-Tore Larsen, Nordic’s CEO. “I’m very proud to declare that the company is the first to offer a comprehensive cellular IoT solution that will save our customers considerable time, money, engineering resources, and frustration that result from dealing with fragmented supply chains.

“This integrated cellular IoT solution with support for NR+ follows the same unified platform strategy we have implemented for our class-leading Bluetooth® Low Energy, Thread, and Wi-Fi products,” adds Larsen.

nRF91 Series low-power cellular IoT and NR+ SiPs

Nordic’s cellular IoT solution with support for NR+ now comprises three nRF91 Series SiPs including two new devices, the nRF9161 and nRF9131, evaluation and development tools, development software, nRF Cloud Services, and world-class support. NR+ is the world’s first non-cellular 5G technology standard.

The nRF9161 SiP is a complete, globally pre-certified SiP that makes it possible to select either cellular IoT connectivity using the secure and global cellular infrastructure or use NR+ to realise massive, reliable private 5G networking, using a single device. New features introduced in the nRF9161 SiP modem firmware and on nRF Cloud help customers further reduce power consumption making the SiP ideal for use cases demanding the longest possible battery life. The new product also boasts enhanced GNSS and cell-based location performance, plus a range of other improvements. 

The nRF9131 SiP is a feature-compatible alternative to the nRF9161 measuring half the size and offering greater flexibility in design and sourcing for high-volume businesses. By integrating the SoC and RF Front End in a mini-SiP, the nRF9131 eliminates major RF risks and simplifies the manufacturing process compared to the traditional use of chipset in high-volume designs.

“Early sample customer response to the nRF9161 and nRF9131 has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Svein-Egil Nielsen, Nordic’s CTO/EVP R&D and Strategy. “A large part of this positive feedback comes from our customers’ understanding of our ambitious strategy to support their massive IoT applications from concept, through deployment and maintenance, to eventual decommissioning. It’s a strategy that enables the companies building the advanced products and sophisticated software needed for tomorrow’s IoT to work with a single supplier, safe in the knowledge that all parts of the platform will be perfectly optimised to work together. No other company can offer such a comprehensive solution.”

Development with nRF Connect SDK

Development with the new SiPs is through Nordic’s unified and scalable nRF Connect SDK (software development kit). The nRF Connect for VS Code extension gives the developer all the necessary tools and features in Visual Studio Code for a fully-fledged Integrated Development Environment (IDE). nRF Connect for Desktop also offers unique cellular IoT tools for optimising power consumption and evaluating, monitoring, and debugging network connectivity.

Supported by nRF Cloud for seamless and power-efficient operation

Deployed customer end-devices based on Nordic’s nRF9161 and nRF9131 SiPs will be supported by Nordic's nRF Cloud. nRF Cloud is optimised for seamless and power-efficient operation with Nordic’s IoT products and offers a comprehensive connectivity platform and Cloud services solution. This helps businesses to lower device power consumption, get critical services throughout a device's lifetime, and provide established practices against security risks. Such advantages are not something that can be achieved with general-purpose Cloud management platforms.

New sets of nRF Cloud services

Two new sets of services, nRF Cloud Security Services and nRF Cloud Device Management, will offer instant answers to common cellular IoT challenges with secure remote provisioning, cryptographic identity authentication, device state monitoring, protocol-agnostic connectivity options, and more. With high flexibility and many commercial customisation options, nRF Cloud offers customers optimised sets of services for massive IoT deployments from onboarding to decommissioning.

Nordic’s also offers world-class technical support through DevAcademy and DevZone. DevAcademy is an interactive online learning platform that aims to teach developers and others the technical information they need to build leading products using Nordic solutions. DevZone provides answers from experts on the key technical challenges that might come up when building innovative applications with Nordic solutions. 

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