u-blox Unveils LTE-M Modules with Integrated GNSS for Enhanced Industrial Connectivity - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

u-blox Unveils LTE-M Modules with Integrated GNSS for Enhanced Industrial Connectivity

Positioning and wireless communication technologies provider, u-blox, has announced the launch of two LTE-M cellular module series, the SARA-R52 and LEXI-R52. These modules are designed to meet the needs of industrial applications requiring both positioning and wireless communication capabilities.

Based on the u-blox UBX-R52 cellular chip, these modules are intended for a variety of IoT use cases, including both fixed and mobile applications. The UBX-R52 chip includes several features aimed at simplifying product design by reducing the need for additional components. One such feature is SpotNow, a positioning function developed by u-blox, which aims to provide location data with an accuracy of up to 10 meters within a few seconds. This function is targeted at applications requiring occasional tracking, such as waste management, personal trackers, and industrial machinery.

Additionally, the chip offers a uCPU feature that enables the execution of custom software directly on the chip, eliminating the necessity for an external microcontroller unit (MCU). The uSCM (Smart Connection Manager) is another feature designed to manage connectivity automatically, focusing on optimizing performance or minimizing power consumption under varying connection conditions.

The R52 series introduces the SARA-R520M10 combo module, which is equipped with an integrated u-blox M10 GNSS receiver. This module is designed to provide simultaneous GNSS and cellular connectivity, supporting applications that require continuous or periodic tracking with features such as low power consumption, improved Time To First Fix (TTFF), and increased RF sensitivity.

Unlike many LTE-M modules that typically offer an RF output power of 20-21 dBm, the new R52 series modules provide a higher output power of 23 dBm to enhance connectivity in difficult coverage areas. The LEXI-R52 offers the same functionalities as the SARA-R52 but comes in a smaller form factor (16 x 16 x 2 mm), making it suitable for applications with space constraints, such as wearable technology.

These additions to u-blox’s LTE-M module portfolio are designed to address the integration of GNSS and wireless communication in industrial IoT applications, offering solutions for a range of use cases that require robust connectivity.