Designed as a single substrate low cost module that can enable the fast provision of low data rate LoRa radio links, the module comprises a Semtech SX1308 transceiver concentrator capable of managing packets from many remotely dispersed end-points, two Semtech SX1257 highly integrated RF front end I/Q transceivers and an STMicroElectronics STM32F401 Arm Cortex M4 microcontroller. A Skyworks RF front-end multi-chip module provides antenna matching, receiver pre-amplifier and transmitter final stage function.
The microcontroller hosts packet forwarding, communication with the application host controller and the module’s power management functions. The packet forwarder handles the two-way communication of packets between an end-point and the network server while the host driver provisions a USB CDC virtual port to communication with the host gateway application processor.
Alternatively, if desired, the module’s UART port can be used for communication with the gateway’s host. The microcontroller firmware also takes care of the power management, in particular when using a USB port, by limiting downlink power consumption to within the 500mA maximum power budget.
The LoRa network provides a low cost long-range communication infrastructure to communication with thousands of end-points. Example deployments include utility meter reading, smart agriculture and industrial IoT applications. Ensuring reliable communication across metropolitan or rural areas is essential and gateways such as the Murata LBAA0ZZ1 play a part in maintaining network links.