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Highly redundant IoT router supports 375Kbps Cat-M1

Mar 11, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 568 views

Advantech has launched a $360, Verizon-certified “ICR-3211B” LTE Cat-M1 router with a 1GHz Cortex-A8 SoC, 2x LAN ports, triple SIM slots, “last gasp” supercap, and a user-programmable Linux stack.

Advantech has launched a line of industrial routers starting with a compact, highly redundant ICR-3211B model that is pre-certified for Verizon’s new low-power wide-area (LPWA) Cat-M1 service. CAT-M1 offers 375Kbps, half duplex up/down speeds for Internet of Things (IoT) or machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.



ICR-3211B
(click image to enlarge)

Cat-M1 is touted for its low power consumption and exceptional in-building range, making it ideal for “urban or bunkered installations” and battery-powered applications in building automation, energy management, and remote SCADA, says Advantech. The router is designed to fall back to GSM speeds.

The ICR-3211B ships with an “open” Linux stack with support for Python, C/C++, BASH, and Node-RED. Advantech also provides an app library with user modules that can enhance router functionality including industrial protocol conversions and support of IoT platforms such as MS Azure, Cumulocity, and ThingWorx. The router supports VPN tunnel creation and a wide variety of networking and security protocols (see chart below).

Installation is said to be streamlined using the WebAccess/DMP configuration and monitoring tool for mass deployment. The router also supports R-SeeNet for additional traffic and health monitoring.



ICR-3211B networking protocols and other firmware (left) and cellular frequency support
(click images to enlarge)

The ICR-3211B runs on an undisclosed, 1GHz Cortex-A8 SoC with 2 DMIPS per MHz performance. You get 512MB RAM and 4GB eMMC “in pSLC mode for a long-lifetime and critical industrial applications,” says Advantech. The flash includes 1.3GB of memory space: 512MB for storage and 838MB for user modules.

The router is equipped with 2x 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports and dual mini-SIM slots for redundancy. There’s even a further backup by enabling fallback to an internal eSIM slot. SMA connectors and optional antennas are available.

The ICR-3211B offers single RS232, RS485, digital input, and binary output interfaces via a 10-way terminal block. You also get a serial I/O connector, a real-time clock, and 7x LEDs. Diagnostic functions include automatic monitoring of wireless and wired connections, automatic restart in case of connection losses, and a hardware watchdog that monitors router status.

The 125 x 97 x 55mm, 457-gram device has an IP30-protected metal case that supports high humidity, high altitude, and -40 to 75°C temperatures. Wall and DIN-rail mounting are also available.

There’s a 9-36VDC terminal block input with power consumption that ranges from 2.5W idle to 11W max. The router includes a super capacitor for sending “last gasp” messages if the primary power supply is interrupted.

 
Further information

The ICR-3211B is available now for $360 in North American markets. More information may be found in Advantech’s ICR-3211B announcement, product page, and shopping page.
 

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