Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

U-Blox module supports wifi and Bluetooth

Steve Rogerson
October 25, 2018

Switzerland-based U-Blox has announced the Nina-W15 multi-radio and gateway module that can simultaneously support wifi 802.11 b/g/n connections and dual-mode Bluetooth connectivity.
This includes support for both Bluetooth Low Energy and Bluetooth BR/EDR. Concurrent support for these radio interfaces delivers design versatility. The modules could be particularly useful in products such as gateways and hubs that need to connect local Bluetooth and/or wifi peripherals to a wider-area network.
“The Nina-W15 modules offer the ideal combination of radio interfaces, security features, proven connectivity software, and a small footprint necessary to enable cost-effective industrial and medical applications,” said Stefan Berggren, senior product marketing manager at U-Blox. “Several industries are focusing on digitalisation and a common scenario is to connect a huge number of sensors and actuators to a back-end system or to cloud service, for analysis and visualisation or even controlling applications.”
Applications for the modules include industrial automation, such as machine control, industrial terminal and remote controls, building automation, and smart building and home equipment such as HVAC and lighting control. Other potential use cases include retail point-of-sale terminals, telematics control units and medical equipment such as defibrillators and urology monitors.
The modules should help IoT device developers secure their designs by supporting features such as secure boot, wifi enterprise security, end-to-end security, Bluetooth secure connections and secure simple pairing.
The modules are also supplied with pre-flashed connectivity software. This has been proven in the market for 15 years, and supports several connectivity use cases, such as multiple individually controlled connections, simultaneous Gatt protocol and serial port service, and simultaneous peripheral and central role. These features can be accessed by a host microcontroller by using simple AT commands to configure and control the modules, and to control communications with external Bluetooth and wifi devices.
The modules are compact and available with an internal antenna (Nina-W152, measuring 10 by 14 by 3.8mm) or a pin through which to drive an external antenna (Nina-W151, measuring 10 by 10.6 by 2.2mm).
They are part of the Nina family of pin-compatible short-range radio stand-alone modules, enabling designers to evolve existing products that already use single-radio Nina modules to support multiple radio interfaces, or to design product lines that offer a variety of radio interface options.
Initial production is planned for early next year.