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Sub-1GHz IoT gateway combines BeagleBone Black and TI LaunchPad boards

Jan 8, 2018 — by Eric Brown 3,022 views

Newark Element14’s “SimpleLink Sub-1GHz Sensor to Cloud Linux Industrial Gateway” kit combines a BeagleBone Black, a wireless cape, and a pair of TI SimpleLink CC1350 LanchPad kits.

Newark Element14’s “SimpleLink Sub-1GHz Sensor to Cloud Linux Industrial Gateway” kit provides a Sub-1GHz sensor network development platform with an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway and cloud connectivity. The Linux-driven kit supports low-power, long range Sub-1GHz networks of up to 50 secure nodes with built-in frequency hopping.

The SimpleLink kit’s TI SimpleLink Dual Band CC1350 LaunchPad board (left) and CC1350 LaunchPad I/O pinout
(click images to enlarge)

Other Linux-ready Sub-1GHz products include Amber Wireless’ 868MHz Amber Pi wireless RF add-on board for the Raspberry Pi. Whereas the Amber Pi uses a Texas Instruments CC1310 SimpleLink Sub-1GHz MCU combined with Amber’s 868MHz AMB8826 module, the SimpleLink Sub-1GHz Sensor to Cloud Linux Industrial Gateway uses .TI’s more advanced SimpleLink dual-band CC1350 wireless chips built into two TI SimpleLink Dual Band CC1350 LaunchPad development kits. The first LaunchPad board acts as the gateway’s MAC co-processor, and the second operates as a long-range sensor node.

BeagleBone Black with
BeagleBone Wireless
Connectivity Cape

The TI CC1350 chip includes a 48-MHz Cortex-M3 microcontroller, as well as a dedicated Cortex-M0-based radio controller that handles low-level RF standards. Whereas the Amber Pi’s CC1310 chip is limited to Sub-1GHz frequencies, the CC1350 also supports 2.4GHz, which is intended primarily to support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for pairing applications with a smartphone. The LaunchPad boards supply the CC1350 in both an 868MHz EU model and a 915MHz U.S. version, which is also said to work in Japan. The LaunchPad board adds BoosterPack plug-in module connectors to express its 31 I/O pins (see pin-out above), as well as a micro-USB port and cable.

BeagleBone Wireless Connectivity Cape detail view (left) and CC1350 block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Newark Element14’s SimpleLink kit also includes a 1GHz, Cortex-A8 BeagleBone Black SBC and a BeagleBone Wireless Connectivity Cape. The Cape is built around a TI WL837MOD module, and offers a mix of dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth with BLE, and a TI CC2530 802.15.4 radio for Zigbee and RF4CE applications. The Cape also provides a TI RF430CL331 NFC transponder to facilitate Bluetooth/WiFi pairing, as well as chip antennas and U.FL connectors.


The SimpleLink kit’s BeagleBone is pre-flashed with the TI 15.4-Stack software development kit (SDK) for Sub-1GHz star network connectivity. There’s also a Linux TI Processor SDK with support for accessing major cloud platforms.

“Sub-1 GHz offers low-power and long-range wireless connectivity, but it doesn’t offer a native IP internet connectivity and is a fragmented band without a standard, making it complex to create a fully managed solution from the end nodes to the cloud,” stated Simon Meadmore, Global Head of SEPO and SBC at Premier Farnell and Newark element14. Meadmore goes on to say the SimpleLink kit solves this by offering an “end-to-end solution enabling an easy cloud connection for sending and receiving long-range sensor data while maintaining a robust link.”

Further information

The SimpleLink Sub-1GHz Sensor to Cloud Linux Industrial Gateway kit is available for $180, which is discounted from $199. More information may be found at Newark Element14’s product page.


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