Shorten development time for IoT designs

Jon Lawson

Alpha Micro has added the latest Bluetooth low energy wireless technology from u-blox to its portfolio of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies.

u-blox’s NINA-B111 and B112 modules and their evaluation kit, EVK-NINA-B1, are compliant with the latest Bluetooth 4.2 wireless standard, and have been created to shorten the development time for IoT designs.

The NINA-B112 systems combine an embedded ARM Corex M4F MCU and Bluetooth stack with antenna and powerful radio transceiver, enabling it to be quickly designed into a wide array of IoT sensors and actuators. It is ideally suited towards applications such as building automation, medical devices, telematics and monitoring/control systems. NINA-B111 is identical but has a connector for an external antenna.

An NFC (near field communications) capability has also been integrated to enable a simplified pairing process. GPIO, ADC, I2C, SPI and UART interfaces allow connections for sensors, accelerometers, LEDs and control devices directly to the module.

Two evaluation board variants are available. Both the EVK-NINA-B111 and EVK-NINA-B112 include connectors to power the board through USB, coin cell battery or an external supply, an NFC antenna and onboard debugger hardware and firmware. The EVK-NINA-B112 also includes the onboard Bluetooth antenna.

The modules also integrate an onboard power management functionality, enabling a power consumption of 400 nA, with wake up on an external event. This increases to 2 µA during idle state, and 5 mA (at 0 dBm at 3.0 VDC), during transmission. 

An enhanced connection security capability is also used that meets the security features of Bluetooth version 4.2, delivering IPv6 and a faster throughput versus previous generations.

The NINA modules are designed to support the future Bluetooth 5.0 specification via an over-the-air firmware upgrade and includes 512 kB Flash and 64 kB RAM for this function.