Ultra-compact low cost LoRa module

The CMWX1ZZABZ-078 Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) wireless module from Murata is a stand-alone, compact and low power solution that supports the LoRaWAN™ and Sigfox wireless protocols - one of the first to support both on a single hardware platform. Measuring 12.5 x 11.6 x 1.76 mm, in a metal shielded LGA package, the Murata LPWAN module is one of the world’s smallest solutions for adding LoRa and Sigfox connectivity to applications. The module is designed to be a fully standalone solution incorporating an SX1276 RF transceiver from Semtech and a STM32L Cortex M0+ microcontroller from ST Microelectronics, with 192Kbytes available flash memory. All frequency bands specified for LoRa and Sigfox applications globally are supported with this module, removing the requirement for separate solutions for different regions. The dual-mode approach allows customers to decide which network technology serves the application best depending on location, service requirements and cost.

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Murata dueal-mode LPWAN module

With 192kB flash available, design engineers have enough memory available to embed applications and even host other modulation stacks. Security is a key consideration for Internet of Things applications and the CMWX1ZZABZ-078 is available with an optional STSAFE secure element to enhance network security. Standalone applications can be designed by simply adding a sensor or combination of sensors, power supply (battery or alternative energy solution) and external antenna. External interfaces for the LPWAN module include UART / SPI / I2C, and an A/D converter interface and 20 GPIO pins are available.

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Key applications for the Murata LPWAN module include smart metering (gas and water flow meters), Internet of Things sensor nodes, wearables, and Machine to Machine (M2M) communications. The variety of LoRaWAN™ and Sigfox applications currently in development includes placing sensor nodes in remote and unpredictable environments and by using an internal TCXO crystal oscillator the CMWX1ZZABZ-078 module has an operating temperature range of -40 to +85 °C.

LoRa and Sigfox are low-power wide area network protocols (LPWANs) for applications requiring long range communications with relatively low data rates – up to 15km range is possible in non-urban environments. Normal output power for the protocols is + 14dBm and + 13dBm respectively, while LoRa range can be further boosted by a power amplifier boost function to increase RF output to + 20dBm for long range applications or those where the end-device is sited in a poor signal location indoors.

Being a very low-power protocols, both are ideal for battery powered applications and those using energy harvesting and EDLC / supercapacitor / lithium-ion capacitor solutions. The Murata LPWAN module can be powered with a 2.2 to 3.6 V DC supply and battery powered applications can be designed for lifetimes in excess of 10 years before replacements are needed.

Features/Applications

Features   Applications
  • Radio Chip - Semtech SX1276
  • Microcontroller – STMicro STM32L (Cortex M0+)
  • Flash – 192Kbytes
  • Dimension – 12.5 x 11.6 x 1.7 max mm
  • Antenna configurations – external
  • Host interfaces – UART/SPI/I2C
  • Other interfaces – GPIO/ADC
  • LGA package (57 pads)
  • RF Tx Power - +14dBm (+20dBm with PA boost)
  • Vdd – 2.2V to 3.6V
  • Operating Temperature Range -40°C to +85°C
  • RoHS compliant
  • Metal Shield Can
  • Smart metering (gas and water flow meters)
  • Internet of Things sensor nodes
  • Wearables
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications

What is LoRa?

LoRaWAN™ is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification intended for wireless, low power devices in regional, national or global networks. LoRaWAN™ targets the key requirements of Internet of Things such as secure bi-directional communication, mobility and localisation services. The LoRaWAN™ specification provides seamless interoperability among smart “Things” without the need of complex local installations and gives back the freedom to the user, developer, businesses enabling the roll out of Internet of Things.

The LoRa Alliance™

  • The LoRa Alliance™ is an open, non-profit association
  • Members are collaborating together and sharing experience to drive the LoRa protocol
  • LoRaWAN™ is the open global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWA connectivity
  • The LoRa Alliance™ also handles certification programmes to guarantee interoperability and the technical flexibility to address the multiple IoT applications
  • Murata has been a member of the LoRa Alliance™ since July 2015
  • As of July 2016 there were 368 members of the LoRa Alliance™ 

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Solutions

Batteries for LPWAN applications

The majority of LPWAN applications will be independent of mains power and require a battery solution that can last for many years. Learn more about suitable battery technologies and key design considerations.

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