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Product Specification

nRF9160 Development Kit

An affordable, fully featured single-board development kit designed for cellular IoT development for LTE-M, NB-IoT, and GNSS using nRF9160 System-in-Package.

Specifications

System In Package(SiP)nRF9160
On board controllernRF52840
Frequency700 MHz to 2.2 GHz (LTE) & 2.4 (BLE)
Operating supply voltage3.0 - 5.5
User-programmableLEDs (4), buttons (2) and switches (2)
Programmer/debuggerSEGGER J-Link OB
ConnectivityUSB connection for debug/programming and power

Overview

The nRF9160 DK is a single board development kit for the evaluation and development of the nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) for LTE-M and NB-IoT. It has an nRF52840 multi-protocol SoC embedded on board to perform board management functions, which can be used to develop hybrid applications that use low-power cellular IoT and short-range technologies. These technologies include Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Bluetooth mesh, Thread, Zigbee, ANT, and 2.4GHz proprietary. The board also includes a SIM card holder, LTE/GNSS/2.4GHz antennas, and all GPIOs and interfaces available via connectors.

Designed for Cellular IoT Operations

nRF9160 DK includes an nRF52840 board controller that can be used to build a Bluetooth Low Energy gateway. It is made to revitalize cellular IoT development with NB-loT, LTE-M and GNSS functionality. nRF9160 DK is hardware compatible with Arduino Uno Revision 3 standard. Equipped with a dedicated  LTE-M and NB-IoT antenna, this development kit supports a wide range of bands to operate globally. LTE bands B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B8, B12, B13, B14, B17, B18, B19, B20, B25, B26, B28 and B66 have been certified already. SWF RF connectors are available for the LTE-M/NB-IoT and 2.4 GHz antennas.

The nRF9160 SiP uses Arm Cortex M33 CPU. The application processor has essential microcontroller features, including integrated sleep modes, low-latency interrupt handling, debug and trace capabilities. The nRF9160 SiP has integrated one-megabyte flash and 256 kilobytes of RAM available for user application. The nRF9160 DK also has an additional external flash with 64 Mb available. The nRF9160 DK incorporates ARM TrustZone® and ARM CryptoCell 310 for security and protection features. 

nRF9160 DK Features and Operations

nRF9160 DK is Arduino Uno compatible; it can be interfaced easily with external device shields. There are 2 x user-programmable buttons, 2 x user-programmable switches and 4 x user-programmable LEDs. nRF9160 DK is equipped with antennas for LTE-M/NB-IoT, GNSS and 2.4GHz. The kit also has access to all GPIOs and interfaces, ie. SPI, TWI, and UART via connectors. The board supports Segger J-Link OB for the program and has debug IN/OUT for use with external boards. It can be connected to a PC to use Nordic's development tools using the micro USB port. 

The two SIM card slots, a 4FF SIM card slot, along with MFF2 SIM footprint supports both plug-in and embedded SIM. The development kit comes with an eSIM card from iBasis, preloaded with 10 MB. When the device is using Power Saving Mode (PSM) the nRF9160 SiP is only using 2.7µA current consumption. The operating voltage ranges from 3.0V to 5.5V via an external supply or USB port. The nRF9160 SiP integrates both a high accuracy oscillator @64MHz and a low accuracy @32.768 kHz.

In nRF9160 DK, there is an LTE port for measuring LTE RF signals or connecting to an external antenna. There is also an onboard LTE antenna which covers the full spectrum of the LTE bands to be used. The kit also supports GPS positioning with a ceramic GPS patch antenna above the nRF9160 SiP. The development kit also features an nRF52840 multi-protocol Bluetooth Low Energy SoC, which is by default used to manage board functions.

Using nRF9160 Development Kit

nRF9160 SiP is mounted on the kit, which supports both LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular networks. Low-powered and small in size(10x16x1.04mm), it can connect anything to everything. 

To use the development kit, insert a SIM card and power it. Once booting is done, it will connect to the nearest cell tower. The default application running on the nRF9160 DK is an asset tracking application and connects to nRF Cloud through MQTT showing the location of the device as well as network parameters. Since the nRF9160 SiP is programmable the user can flash their own firmware with their own wanted behavior and features.

The nRF Connect SDK that Nordic Semiconductor provides includes a huge list of samples and applications which can be used for reference for your application development. There are samples showing how to use CoAP, LwM2M, MQTT etc. plus showcasing how to do Firmware over the Air and much more. A strong recommendation is to go to academy.nordicsemi.com to learn how to use the SDK and about cellular IoT.

The nRF9160 is perfect for applications and use cases such as asset tracking, logistics, smart city/agriculture, predictive maintenance, industrial, smart metering, wearables and medical.

References

Nordic Semi [Internet]

Nordic Semi [PDF]

Nordic Semi [Internet]

Tags

IIoTIoTsingle board computer

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