Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

STM launches LoRa development packs

Steve Rogerson
October 23, 2019

Chip company ST Microelectronics has introduced two $99 ready-to-use development packs that lets all types of users from large corporations to smaller companies, independent designers, hobbyists and schools use LoRa’s long-range, low-power wireless IoT connectivity for tracking, positioning, metering and other applications.
The two packs provide a complete LoRaWan development chain including gateway and end-node boards, firmware, and tools, leveraging STM’s STM32 Nucleo evaluation boards. Catering separately for regions with 868, 915 923 and sub-550MHz ISM frequency bands, each pack includes proprietary gateway software and the firm’s I-Cube-LRWan end-node software. The node and gateway boards come with an antenna and on-board debugger.
The LoRa gateway included in each pack is built with an STM32 Nucleo-144 development board, Nucleo-F746ZG, which contains an STM32F746ZGT6 microcontroller.
Unlike with a commercial gateway, users can access device pins to assist development. The gateway acts as a basic packet forwarder to enable data coming from the development node to reach LoRaWan servers.
Switzerland-based STM has established agreements with LoRaWan network-server providers Loriot, Actility and Things Network to let users connect their gateways to basic network-server capabilities free of charge. Users can also visualise sensor data and control devices with the MyDevices Cayenne for LoRa IoT Builder dashboard.
Nodes are based on the Nucleo-L073RZ Nucleo-64 board that features the STM32L073RZT6 low-power MCU and comes with a battery socket for mobility. Each pack includes a LoRa node expansion board, which contains a low-power STM32-powered module running an AT-command stack. A selection of motion and environmental sensors is also provided on-board.
The P-Nucleo-LRWan 2 pack is for high-frequency (868, 915 and 923MHz) ISM bands. It comes with the I-Nuclei-LRWan 1 node expansion board designed by USI, which combines an STM32L0-powered module with STM’s sensor devices including the LSM303AGR MEMS e-compass accelerometer and magnetometer, LPS22HB pressure sensor, and HTS221 temperature and humidity sensor.
The P-Nucleo-LRWan 3 pack for low-frequency (433 and 470MHz) ISM regions comes with a node expansion board embedding the STM32L0-powered RHF0M003 Rising HF module, together with an STM LSM6DS33D accelerometer, LPS22HB pressure sensor and HTS221 temperature and humidity sensor.
Both development packs are available now and developers can use the STM32 ecosystem bringing LoRaWan protocol stacks, free integrated development environments such as Keil MDK-Arm, and software toolset including the STM32 Cube MX MCU initialiser and configurator.