Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Avnet to unveil Renesas-Miromico LoRa module at Embedded World

Steve Rogerson
February 20, 2019



At next week’s Embedded World in Nuremberg, Avnet Silica will be showing a LoRa module that resulted from a collaboration between Japanese electronics company Renesas and Swiss firm Miromico.
 
The companies have produced a compact and low-power module based on LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology. The module lets users connect easily to LoRaWan-based networks.
 
The FMLR-61-x-RSS3 module employs Renesas’ Synergy platform, giving access to microcontrollers and a large production-grade software package. Engineers can use the S3A6 MCU on the LoRa-based module to handle various tasks, while seamlessly streaming data across a LoRaWan-based network to the cloud.
 
The module measures 14.2 by 19.5mm. Its operating voltage is 1.8 to 3.3V, and power consumption ranges from 1.4µA in sleep mode to 25.5mA typical in transmit mode at 14dBm. Receiver sensitivity is -148dBm in LoRa mode SF12 at 10.4kHz, and the module’s operating temperature is -40 to +85˚C.
 
A highlight of the module is the use of the licensed LoRaWan stack with firmware-over-the-air capabilities. Designed to meet relevant certifications, the module can be used as a mass-produced LoRa product in the field. In particular, its specifications make it suitable for urban as well as rural sensing applications such as metering, asset tracking, building automation, security, wearables and predictive maintenance.
 
The module uses the S3A6 MCU with integrated 48MHz Arm Cortex-M4 core, and has 256kbyte code flash memory, 8kbyte data flash and 32kbyte SRAM, which is enough memory to allow engineers to add a variety of their own functions.
 
Most MCU signals are available at the module level to make them accessible. Manufactured in a low- power process, the S3A6 peripheral set includes analogue features such as a 14bit SAR analogue-to-digital converter, 12bit digital-to-analogue converter, op amps and comparators. Various timer channels and serial ports, USB function, Can, DMA, and safety and security hardware make the MCU suit a wide range of battery-operated applications. In addition, it is part of a large Renesas Synergy MCU portfolio, making it easy to scale up to more functionality or scale down to reduce costs.
 
The Synergy platform features the Synergy Software Package (SSP), which comprises a large selection of production-grade software. SSP includes the Thread X RTOS and lots of associated middleware such as a file system, USB stack, graphical user interface software, application frameworks and functional libraries that can be used for encryption and DSP functions. This combination of hardware and software helps users accelerate their product development schedule.
 
Samples of the FMLR-61-x-RSS3 LoRa module are available now from Miromico and Avnet Silica. Pricing starts at €8.5 per unit in high volume quantities. Mass production is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2019.
 
The FMLR-61-x-RSS3 demo kit will be on display at the Avnet Silica stand 370 in Hall 1 of next week’s Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany.