Murata taps Nowi for battery-free LoRa wireless

Murata taps Nowi for battery-free LoRa wireless

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Murata has signed a strategic deal with Nowi of the Netherlands for battery-free LoRa wireless networks in the Internet of the Things

The two have developed reference platforms and designs which use Murata’s ultra-small, ultra-low power consumption LoRa modules, powered by Nowi’s energy harvesting power management (PMIC) chip, Semtech transceivers and microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics.

The 60 x 65 mm modular platform is designed to maximise development versatility for end users, offering LoRa connectivity by embedding Murata’s 1SJ or ABZ module and sending the data from the external sensor attached to the onboard sensor socket. Combined with Nowi’s ultra-small NH2 energy harvesting PMIC, the platform allows for simple and fast development of low-cost energy autonomous LoRa connected products. The NH2 PMIC is designed to efficiently extract power from ambient energy sources to charge a wide variety of energy storage elements.

The efficient and optimized MPPT power tracking algorithm developed by Nowi in Delft, combined with Murata’s ultra-low power consumption LoRa modems, allows engineers to build battery-free low power wide area network (LPWAN) nodes using the LoRa protocol.

“Murata’s 1SJ LoRaWAN modem combines an ultra-small form factor with top performance which is highly complementary to the unique benefits Nowi energy harvesting PMICs offer. This exciting collaboration offers companies a fast route to achieve energy autonomous connectivity in their products, by minimizing BOM size, cost and complexity,” said Simon van der Jagt, CEO of Nowi.

“Nowi’s small energy harvesting technology and its highly efficient MPPT feature is certainly the perfect sustainable choice to power our world’s smallest LoRa modem. Our partnership will bolster the initiative to support customers in rapidly developing compact and energy efficient Plug and Forget LoRa solutions,” said Koichi Sorada, Murata Product Manager, IoT Connectivity Modules

The 1SJ module is a stand-alone or optionally AT-command controlled LoRaWAN modem measuring 10.0 mm × 8.0 mm × 1.6 mm, making it the smallest available in the world today. It is based on the second-generation Semtech SX1262 radio frequency IC (RFIC). The device incorporates several low power modes that allow the real time clock (RTC) to operate while drawing a typical current of just 1.3µA. Additionally, the resin mold package provides physical ruggedness with a -40ºC to +85ºC temperature range. The Type ABZ is another stand-alone compact module measuring just 12.5 x 11.6 x 1.76 mm, constructed in a metal shielded package and comprising a Semtech SX1276 ultra long range spread spectrum wireless transceiver.

Both the modems are integrated with an STMicro STM32L0 series ARM Cortex M0+ 32 bit microcontroller (MCU). The MCU includes 192 kB flash and 20 kB RAM and has enough memory to embed customer applications and host other modulation stacks.

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