Nowi partnership enables development of LoRa energy autonomous platforms

  • Connectivity Modules

27/05/2021

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
President:
Norio Nakajima

Murata and Nowi have entered a strategic partnership that aims to enable and simplify the development of sustainable energy autonomous IoT platforms for use in ‘Plug & Forget’ solutions. The importance of energy harvesting for IoT platforms is becoming increasingly evident, as it plays a critical role in increasing the lifetime, usability and viability of IoT devices.

The objective of this collaboration is to bring to market reference platforms and designs which use Murata's ultra-small, ultra-low power consumption LoRa modules, powered by Nowi's extremely compact and efficient energy harvesting PMIC.

The compact 60 × 65 mm modular platform is designed to maximise development versatility for end users, offering LoRa connectivity by embedding Murata's 1SJ or ABZ module and sending the data from the external sensor attached to the onboard sensor socket. Combined with Nowi's ultra-small NH2 energy harvesting PMIC, the platform allows for simple and fast development of low-cost energy autonomous LoRa connected products. The NH2 PMIC is designed to efficiently extract power from ambient energy sources to charge a wide variety of energy storage elements.

Its efficient and optimized MPPT feature, combined with Murata's ultra-low power consumption LoRa modems, allows customers to build sustainable systems. Furthermore, the NH2 offers unprecedented ease-of-use, with an easy implementation at the development stage.

Koichi Sorada, Murata Product Manager, IoT Connectivity Modules, said: “Nowi's small energy harvesting technology and its highly efficient MPPT feature is certainly the perfect sustainable choice to power our world's smallest LoRa modem. Our partnership will bolster the initiative to support customers in rapidly developing compact and energy efficient “Plug and Forget” LoRa solutions.”

Type 1SJ is a stand-alone or optionally AT-command controlled LoRaWAN® modem solution measuring only 10.0 mm × 8.0 mm × 1.6 mm, making it the smallest available in the world today. It is based on the second-generation Semtech SX1262 radio frequency IC (RFIC). The device incorporates several low power modes that allow the real time clock (RTC) to operate while drawing a typical current of just 1.3µA. Additionally, the resin mold package provides physical ruggedness with a −40°C to +85°C temperature range.

Type ABZ is another stand-alone compact module measuring just 12.5 × 11.6 × 1.76 mm, constructed in a metal shielded package and comprising a Semtech SX1276 ultra long range spread spectrum wireless transceiver.

Both the modems are integrated with an STMicro STM32L0 series ARM Cortex M0+ 32 bit microcontroller (MCU). The MCU includes 192 kB flash and 20 kB RAM and has enough memory to embed customer applications and host other modulation stacks.

Simon van der Jagt, Nowi B.V. CEO, commented: “Murata's 1SJ LoRaWAN modem combines an ultra-small form factor with top performance which is highly complementary to the unique benefits Nowi energy harvesting PMICs offer. This exciting collaboration offers companies a fast route to achieve energy autonomous connectivity in their products, by minimizing BOM size, cost and complexity.”

About the modules

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About Nowi

Nowi is a private semiconductor firm based in Delft, the Netherlands, founded in 2015. Their expertise is in energy harvesting (low) power management IC and IP design. Nowi has been able to reduce the PCB assembly footprint of their IC by a factor 30 compared to other market alternatives, eliminate the need for various external components such as inductors, and increase the DC-DC conversion efficiency. The company is focusing on enabling low-power connected applications to become “Plug & Forget”.

Murata in Brief

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of ceramic-based passive electronic components & solutions, communication modules and power supply modules. Murata is committed to the development of advanced electronic materials and leading edge, multi-functional, high-density modules. The company has employees and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. For more information, visit Murata's website at www.murata.com