Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Seeed uses U-Blox modules to produce IoT maker boards

Steve Rogerson
June 20, 2018

Seeed, one of China’s largest distributors of microelectronic components for the international developer and maker communities, has produced two boards using U-Blox modules to deliver cellular communications and positioning capabilities for IoT applications.
Swiss firm U-Blox provides positioning and wireless communication technologies. Its modules will be at the core of two developer boards.
The first of the two boards is a Raspberry Pi Hat designed to augment Raspberry Pi computers with cellular communication as well as cellular-based positioning services. The board will be released in multiple variants (USA AT&T, USA Verizon and Europe) based on the U-Blox Lara-R2 LTE Cat 1 module series.
The second board, the WIO LTE Cat M1 and NB1 tracker, provides the hardware to make low-power location tracking devices for people, pets and assets. It can be programmed using the Arduino IDE and is also Espruino (JavaScript) compatible. The board uses the U-Blox Max-M8Q GNSS module to determine position, integrating signals from multiple GNSS satellite constellations, and connects to the cellular network using the U-Blox Sara-R4 LTE Cat M1 and NB1 module.
Developers and businesses can customise the standalone board and have it manufactured through Seeed’s services to create products tailored to their needs.
“Seeed is among the top three designers and distributers of products that target makers,” said Michael Ammann, senior principal at U-Blox.
Based in China’s Shenzhen, also known as the world capital of hardware innovation, Seeed is well positioned to deliver offerings to both the domestic and the global maker community.
“We are pleased to collaborate with U-Blox on the development of these two IoT boards,” said Ye Xiaobo, product manager at Seeed. “The fact that the mobile communication networks that these new products rely on are only now being rolled out could have been an obstacle. But thanks to good documentation and support, we are excited to give our customers the opportunity to develop new applications that benefit from the low power consumption and low-cost data plans they need.”
With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, U-Blox has offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.   
Seeed is an IoT hardware enabler providing services that empower IoT developers. By partnering with technology providers from hardware to the cloud, Seeed offers an array of hardware platforms and sensor modules ready to be integrated with existing IoT platforms. Seeed serves the global market from its headquarter in Shenzhen, with branch offices in the USA and Japan. With Shenzhen’s flexible supply chain, Seeed also offers customisation and agile manufacturing services, ranging from a single unit to over 10,000 units.