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Linux-powered module has Cat M1, NB-IoT, and GNSS

Jun 10, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 306 views

TT Electronics announced a SODIMM-style “S-2Connect Creo SoM” module that runs Linux on a Quectel BG95-M3 module with an i.MX6 UL, 256MB RAM, 4GB eMMC, GNSS, and a pre-certified Cat M1/NB-IoT modem with micro-SIM.

Swedish electronics firm TT Electronics has announced what appears to be its first Linux-powered device. The S-2Connect Creo SoM provides Cat M1 and NB-IoT connectivity as a “future-proof” solution for low-power, long distance wireless in regions where networks are “switching off and sunsetting their 3G and 2G infrastructure,” says TT. Applications include automation, asset tracking, mobile healthcare and other industrial IoT tasks that need wireless communications.



S-2Connect Creo SoM (left) and Quectel BG95-M3
(click images to enlarge)

The 200-pin SODIMM form-factor module ships with a Linux SDK for its single-core, Cortex-A7 NXP i.MX6 UL. The SoC is deployed along with 256MB DDR3L and 4GB eMMC via a Quectel BG95-M3 multi-mode LPWA module. The BG95-M3 supports Cat M1 at 588Kbps downlink and 1119Kbps uplink. It also enables Cat NB2, an upgraded version of the NB1 protocol commonly known as NB-IoT.

The modem offers fallback to 2G EGPRS and supports 2.4GHz Bluetooth BLE 5.0. It also integrates a GNSS receiver with GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS support.

The S-2Connect Creo SoM, which we saw on EENews Europe, adds a soldered eSIM and 3FF micro-SIM card holder supported with an optional cellular connectivity subscription. The module is pre-certified for Europe, UK, US, and Canada.

The S-2Connect Creo SoM is further equipped with a micro-USB port, TPM security chip, and U.FL connectors plus an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. The image also shows what appears to be a microSD slot. The 67.6 x 50 x 5mm, 18-gram module has a 5V/3.3VDC input and supports -30 to 60°C temperatures.



S-2Connect Creo SoM eval kit (left) and S-2Connect Hub
(click images to enlarge)

An evaluation kit for the module will be announced this summer (see image above). TT Electronics also sells an S-2Connect Hub for Cat M1 and NB-IoT that uses an STM32-based Quectel B096 gateway. The IP65 protected, -30 to 60°C tolerant hub runs the open source Zephyr RTOS, which just celebrated its 5th birthday.

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Cat M1 and NB-IoT are closely related. Cat M1 operates at 1.4 MHz and can achieve up to 1Mbps throughput whereas NB-IoT operates at 180kHz to 200kHz. NB-IoT is similar to the open protocol LoRaWAN, but instead uses a licensed protocol from 3GPP that is only available through established mobile network operators. (More on Cat M1, NB-IoT, and LoraWAN may be found here.)

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the S-2Connect Creo SoM or upcoming development board. More information may be found in TT Electronics’ announcement and product page, which has links to a page for the SDK.

 

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