Combining Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 with a powerful open processor, the NORA-W10 offers superior RF performance with low power consumption.

u-blox (SIX: UBXN), a leading global provider of positioning and wireless communication technologies and services, has announced the u-blox NORA-W10 Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth low-power 5.0 module. The module focuses on applications in harsh industrial environments where reliable radio frequency performance and small size are crucial, as well as medical equipment, smart urban solutions and applications for warehousing and retail.

NORA-W10 is the successor to the NINA-W10 module, with key features such as Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth LE 5.0, improved RF performance, built-in high-capacity flash memory and low power consumption. The compact module is based on the Espressif ES32-S3 chipset, which hosts a powerful dual-core MCU with hardware acceleration with artificial intelligence, capable of enabling speech and face recognition applications. It offers a wide range of hardware interfaces, including USB, CAN, SDIO and display and camera interfaces.

Simultaneous Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0

Offering single-band 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 4 (802.11b / g / n), the NORA-W10 is aimed at lower-end Wi-Fi segments that do not require higher performance on more expensive Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 modules. With stable Wi-Fi connectivity in place and data speeds sufficient for many industrial applications, Wi-Fi 4 is expected to be the most widely used Wi-Fi technology in IoT applications at least until 2025 and will remain so. level for the foreseeable future.

Even when communicating via Wi-Fi, the NORA-W10 can simultaneously transmit data via Bluetooth low energy 5.0, which offers data speeds of up to 2 Mbps or, using Bluetooth Long Range, can increase signal propagation distances by up to four times compared with standard Bluetooth LE. Bluetooth network support further extends achievable coverage by retransmitting messages from node to node until they reach the desired destination.

Powerful, secure, globally certified

The dual-core Xtensa LX7 MCU of the module is complemented by 8 MB of flash memory, 512 kb of RAM and a total of 38 programmable GPIOs. Advanced security features, including accelerated cryptographic flash encryption and secure boot capabilities, allow the globally certified NORA-W10 to securely run sensitive applications in a reliable and isolated environment without requiring any additional components.

Cases of use: From fitness equipment to the end of AI

With enough flash to support over-the-air updates, the module offers a wide range of integration options. When used in connected fitness equipment, for example, the NORA-W10 can simultaneously collect data from the equipment and from the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth LE 5.0. This data can then be transmitted over the local Wi-Fi network for central storage.

EV charging stations can use the Bluetooth LE 5.0 connectivity of the module to simplify the configuration of the EV box using the user’s smartphone. At the same time, they can transmit billing data to remote service providers via a nearby Wi-Fi access point.

Finally, the capabilities of the artificial intelligence module make it perfect for face and voice recognition, used by digital assistants, as well as smart home and smart office solutions.

u-blox quality and design

“The NORA-W10’s vast array of features makes it a strong contender for demanding Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth LE 5.0 applications in a wide range of markets. We are excited to see product developers use the ES32-S3’s dual-core MCUs in combination with the high RF performance provided by our careful module design, “said Magnus Johansson, Product Strategy, Short Range Radio, at u-blox.

Many of the distinctive features of the NORA-W10 module stem from its u-blox design. The 10.4 x 14.3 x 1.8 mm module is available with either a PCB tracking antenna or antenna pins and offers superior RF performance compared to comparable solutions on the market. And pin / pad compatibility across the NORA family of u-blox modules allows product developers to reach multiple market segments using the same PCB design.

The first samples of the NORA-W10 and EVK module, including the USB version, will be available in June 2022.

u-blox announces compact Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi module for demanding customer applications

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