Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Laird wireless modem combines LTE and Bluetooth

Steve Rogerson
June 6, 2019

Ohio-based Laird Connectivity has announced a multi-wireless modem that combines the benefits of low-power cellular LTE connectivity and Bluetooth 5 technology in one integrated device.
This combination enables use cases using low-cost, long-range Bluetooth sensors all connected to the LTE network in a simpler and lower cost architecture.
The Pinnacle 100 seamlessly incorporates an Arm Cortex M4F controller running a hostless Zephyr RTOS-based software implementation, complete Bluetooth 5 functionality, and LTE Cat-M1 and NB-IoT capabilities, certified from a radio regulatory, cellular and network carrier perspective.
This intelligent modem additionally provides complete antenna flexibility, including pre-integrated embedded and external options such as Laird's Revie Flex LTE and NB-IoT antenna.
This combination of capabilities simplifies common use cases such as using a smartphone to configure and create an LTE connection in a product. It also enables use cases combining multiple long-range meshed Bluetooth sensors connected to the cloud over the evolving global low-power LTE network.
Bridging Bluetooth sensors to a single intelligent LTE device allows users to optimise sensor coverage and manage cellular data with a simple, low-cost architecture, and decrease time to market and deliver real-time insights.
"The Pinnacle 100 builds on decades of Laird's wireless expertise, making it easier than ever to bridge wireless sensor data to cloud services like AWS IoT over a low-power LTE connection," said Jonathan Kaye, Laird Connectivity's senior director of product management. “The Pinnacle 100 cellular modem is an ideal product for customers looking for full integration. Because the modem will be end-device qualified from a carrier perspective, as well as supporting complete co-location radio certification, there is no need to worry about the time and cost involved in the certification process."
As well as having a pre-integrated, low-cost embedded antenna option, it has the flexibility for external antennas, including Laird's Revie Flex LTE and NB-IoT and FlexPIFA antennas. The ReviFlex is an efficient PCB antenna for companies that need an embedded antenna with a combination of flexibility, omnidirectional pattern and multiple frequency bands.
Multiple low-cost development kits will be available to simplify application development and provide everything required for initial evaluation out of the box including a standalone Bluetooth 5 environmental sensor, a SIM card with free data, a companion smartphone app for provisioning, and a complete end-to-end demo to see Bluetooth sensor data in the cloud in minutes.
Laird has also announced the CMD69423P, an indoor mimo ceiling mount antenna, suitable for 5G deployments with low-profile aesthetics.
Using patent pending technology, the CMD69423P is a two-port mimo, omnidirectional, ceiling mount antenna that operates between 698 and 960MHz and 1300 and 4200MHz. The antenna's elements are designed with linear, vertical and horizontal components and optimised to radiate a shaped pattern to improve performance when installed on a ceiling.
The antenna is suitable for indoor environments such as business offices, shopping malls, medical facilities, bus terminals, train stations or where wide-angle coverage is necessary for wireless deployment.
"The CMD69423P's multi-port functionality saves time and money, as fewer antennas are needed to provide excellent coverage and throughput," said Gordon Barber, Laird Connectivity's director of product management. "This is because the antenna has been designed for robust radiation performance including coverage and low correlation between ports."
With its wide bandwidth, the CMD69423P covers CBRS and 5G spectrum to 4200MHz. The antenna is designed with a low-profile, aesthetically-neutral housing, full plenum rating, low PIM, and low port-port correlation, improving mimo performance.