Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

GCF certifies U-Blox IoT chipset

Steve Rogerson
March 11, 2020



U-Blox is the first company to have a product certified under the Global Certification Forum (GCF) IoT chipset certification scheme that was started in January this year.
 
This latest GCF programme is designed for chipsets covering NB-IoT and LTE-M and facilitates the easy integration of embedded chipsets into modules and devices.
 
The U-Blox UBX-R5 Cat-M1 chipset is the first product to achieve certification under the scheme.
 
GCF IoT chipset certification was added to the existing IoT platforms and IoT modules programme at the beginning of the year, to enable certification of chipsets based on GCF approved test platforms under defined quality requirements, including GCF approval of the chipset manufacturer’s design test facilities. This gives the IoT industry a level of confidence when deploying and integrating a myriad of different devices across multiple communication technologies and is the first in a number of initiatives that planned by the GCF in 2020 to enable the confidence and growth of the IoT market.
 
“We are delighted that GCF has recognised the quality of our UBX-R5 LTE-M and NB-IoT chipset,” said Andreas Thiel, head of product centres at Swiss firm U-Blox. “This certification, a first under GCF’s IoT chipset certification initiative, demonstrates that we are setting a new benchmark for IoT connectivity, while paving the way for robust secure communication from the chip all the way to the cloud.”
 
With the rapid expansion of the IoT industry, the introduction of a programme that demonstrates industry-recognised compliance with 3GPP standards is critical to ensuring the sustained successful deployment of the IoT industry. This is particularly important for mission-critical or long life-cycle IoT applications for which the UBX-R5 Cat-M1 is intended, also helping to shorten time to market and significantly reduce costs.
 
"GCF's IoT chipset certification initiative was launched earlier this year and we're extremely pleased to have U-Blox achieve the first certification so soon for its UBX-R5 Cat-M1 chipset," said Lars Nielsen, CEO at the GCF. "We anticipate that many more IoT chipsets will come through the programme this year, offering confidence and reliability for the IoT industry with industry-recognised compliance to 3GPP standards."
 
The UBX-R5 is a 5G-ready cellular chipset for low power wide area (LPWA) mission-critical or long life-cycle IoT applications such as smart metering, telematics, tracking, security systems, building automation, smart lighting and connected health.
 
With mobile network operators announcing their plans to roll out 5G networks, 5G readiness is becoming a key factor in selecting cellular communication modules. LTE-M and NB-IoT are forward compatible with 5G networks and, by implementing key LTE-M and NB-IoT features from 3GPP release 14, the UBX-R5 offers a smooth transition towards 5G via software upgrades to already deployed devices.
 
It has built-in end-to-end security thanks to a hardware-based root of trust integrated in a discrete secure element compliant with EAL5+ High common criteria certification, which makes it suitable for protecting sensitive assets and communications.
 
The GCF was founded in 1999 and has more than 335 members. It defines the certification requirements for the mobile and IoT industry through collaboration with key global organisations and independent standardisation committees. Members from major operators, device and IoT manufacturers and the test industry work with their partners to provide device-network interoperability, reduction in testing costs and accelerated time to market.
 
The GCF certification ecosystem evolves to anticipate global market trends and deliver a range of certification programmes including 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, IoT, OneM2M, module, C-IoT chipset, C-V2X, eSIM (RSP), Industry 4.0 and MCPTT services.