Skywire™ CAT M1 Development Kit
A key emerging requirement for sensors and devices on the IoT, particularly those that will run on batteries, is low-power operation. The Cat M1 cellular modem is specifically designed to minimize power requirements, and NimbeLink’s Cat M1 development kit is specifically designed to help minimize the power requirement of the finished prototype. This makes the development kit ideal for proof-of-concept, field-testable prototyping of low-power Cat M1 IoT devices.
The development kit includes a Skywire Cat M1 modem and an adapter board that, among other things, combines the modem’s separate cellular UART and GPS UART into a single USB port for easy computer access to the modem. All an IoT developer needs to prototype a Cat M1, cellular enabled, low-power device is the Cat M1 developer kit, a battery, and virtually any Arduino-compatible development kit.
Skywire™ Embedded Modem Roadmap
Skywire™ Cellular Modems
Created by award-winning developers, Skywire™ plug-in cellular modems are the fastest way to provide cellular connectivity for machine-to-machine (M2M) products and speed them to market. Within months of its introduction Skywire™ was recognized for innovation and named a finalist for the ECN Impact Awards, Boards, Modules and Embedded Systems category.
Skywire™ is the smallest end-device certified cellular modem on the market, making it quicker and easier to deploy than chip-down chipset solutions, external modems, or solder-in modules. It uses an XBee® Standard form factor and its pre-certification eliminates months of delay and tens of thousands of dollars of cost for required certification.
It is easy to deploy, requiring just voltage and a UART connection and is more flexible than other plug-in modules, supporting a wider range of voltages and antenna connections.
Part Ordering Information
Engineering sample, Skywire CAT M1 development includes NL-SW-LTE-SVZM20 modem, baseboard, antenna, power supply, Verizon SIM card and debug cables.
Engineering sample, Skywire™, LTE CAT M1, Verizon
Skywire™, LTE CAT M1, Verizon, GPS/GNSS
3FF Commercial Temp range SIM card, Verizon
- coming soon
3FF Industrial Temp range SIM card, Verizon
4G LTE Modems for M2M Applications
Skywire 4G LTE CAT M modems are an enabling technology for M2M, the technology powering the emerging “Internet of Things”. Our LTE modules allow systems to independently collect data and transmit it to other systems. This allows systems to make decisions based not just on local input but on input from a far-flung network of sites and sources. Over a short distance it’s easy to connect separate devices either by wire or wirelessly. But for quick, easy communication to just about any fixed or mobile location it’s hard to beat the cellular network. Cellular works almost anywhere and is inexpensive to implement and use, but the biggest advantage of cellular may be the speed with which it can be implemented, both by the product developer and by the end user.
Choosing the right LTE module depends on your application and your location. LTE, sometimes referred to as 4G LTE, supports data speeds of up to 100 Mbps. While LTE can be implemented over several different spectra, compatible devices should work across all LTE spectra around the world. Its high throughput rate makes it ideal for streaming data applications like video and for other high-volume processes.
Choosing Cellular Access Technology
There are a variety of ways to incorporate LTE modules into a product or device. Key issues affecting your choice include location (as a factor in cellular network availability), product size, available expertise, time, cost, and your anticipated technology roadmap.
Consider the cellular network you will be using. If your product will have to access a range of network technologies, you will need to be able to support a corresponding range of cellular modems.
If size is an issue (as it is in so many devices today) external modems will not be a viable option; even some internal modules/modems may be too large to be practical.
Consider what components are built into the modem itself and what will have to be configured separately to make the module/modem work.
If you have the time and resources you can design a cellular module into your board. Or you can streamline the process by incorporating a ready-made pre-certified modem. Designing in a module will take engineering time.
Products that access the network must have FCC certification, which can take months. Designing in a pre-certified cellular modem eliminates the cost of obtaining certification and allows your device to be immediately activated on a network, reducing risk and speeding ROI.
A plug-in modem with a complete development kit will further streamline the process.
Cost has many components. In comparing cost of various cellular access options, look at development cost versus purchase cost as well as manufacturing and operating costs. Also consider the cost of obtaining certification if your product is not pre-certified.
The volume in which you will produce your product also helps determine your platform options. Designing a module into your board (as opposed to plugging in a certified modem) can make sense when the cost can be amortized over very large volumes (and when you can support the up-front cost). When your volume is less than huge, however, or when you need to pay as you go, purchasing modems makes more sense.
Finally, consider the trajectory of your product’s future development. If you expect your cellular needs to change—in speed, in network technology, or in related capabilities such as GPS—consider buying rather than building. It’s easier to change direction when that means buying a different product rather than having to develop a new one yourself. This is especially true if the modems you buy use a standard form factor that allows easy swap-out as generations change.