LPWAN evaluation board promises long-range IoT connectivity

February 17, 2017 // By Julien Happich
With two new ready-to-use prototype boards, STMicroelectronics aims to slash the cost of evaluating LoRaWAN and other Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies including 6LoWPAN.

The boards are based on the smallest and lowest-power LoRaWAN modules that exist on the market today, with a footprint not larger than 13- x 12-mm and power consumption in the range of 1.2 µA in standby mode.

The B-L072Z-LRWAN1 STM32 LoRa Discovery kit builds on the all-in-one open module from Murata that integrates a STM32L072CZ microcontroller and Semtech SX1276 transceivers. The module features a LoRa modem that provides ultra-long-range spread-spectrum communication and high interference immunity whilst minimizing current consumption. Since the module is open, developers have access to the STM32L072 MCU and its peripherals such as ADC, 16-bit timer, LP-UART, I2C, SPI and USB 2.0 FS. The B-L072Z-LRWAN1 kit includes an on-board debugger, a 64-pin STM32 Nucleo morpho connector, an Arduino-compatible connector, and a battery socket. It also comes with access to a completely free development ecosystem that includes the MDK-ARM Integrated Development Environment (IDE), STM32CubeMX configurator and software tools, and ST’s LoRaWAN protocol stack.

The I-NUCLEO-LRWAN1 is an expansion board for STM32 Nucleo or Arduino boards that can be simply plugged in to quickly start work developing a full LoRa-based and/or FSK/OOK (Frequency-Shift Keying/On-Off Keying) connectivity applications. The board features a LoRaWAN module from USI together with an STM32L052T8 MCU and Semtech SX1272 transceivers.

The USI module comes pre-loaded with an AT command stack that helps streamline development and saves programming. The board is also equipped with ST’s LIS2DS12 3-axis accelerometer, LPS22HB MEMS pressure sensor, and HTS221 humidity-and-temperature sensor.

Both boards are LoRaWAN-certified and fully compliant with wireless regulations in the US, EU, Russia, India, and other countries using the 860-930 MHz frequency bands.

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