Designing For Lorawan - Murata Wireless Modules | Avnet Abacus

Display portlet menu

Designing For Lorawan - Murata Wireless Modules | Avnet Abacus

Display portlet menu

Designing for LoRaWAN - Murata wireless modules

Martin Keenan Photo

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wireless modules for smartphones, including supplying some of the very biggest names in the market, Murata knows a thing or two about wireless technologies, and also about manufacturing modules.

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wireless modules for smartphones, including supplying some of the very biggest names in the market, Murata knows about wireless technologies, and also about manufacturing modules. The company’s new LoRa connectivity module is expected to be received as a significant development for IoT (Internet of Things) markets: one that really opens up new possibilities for companies developing products and technologies for LoRaWAN based networks. Designed to reduce both costs and energy use, LoRaWAN is a low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) with an open specification standardised by the LoRa Alliance. The Alliance includes a host of different companies, many of them multi-nationals, including telecom companies, system integrators and equipment manufacturers, as well as many leading semiconductor and sensor vendors, among many others.

Today we are seeing major ongoing installations of infrastructure for LoRaWAN networks, primarily in Europe, but also in other parts of the world. The network is designed to enable a wide range of applications in areas such as public transportation, smart metering, wearables, livestock and asset tracking, and M2M communications and sensor-based end nodes in IoT networks.

LoRaWAN hits the sweet spot between the cellular/LTE based technologies and the short-range very-high-throughput capabilities of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but most importantly delivers on the low-power and small-packet data requirements of many IoT applications. Implementing ultra-narrow-band technology and minimising energy consumption in battery-powered devices, and in the network itself, LoRaWAN is ideal for ‘smart city applications’. For example, it can support the primary data transport infrastructure for the sending of collected measurements from remotely located environmental monitoring devices. In the coming years, an alternative network for these types of applications is the new 3GPP NB-IoT technology, but it is still very early days for the standard, while LoRaWAN is already well established.

 

An introduction to LoRa

Today we are seeing major ongoing installations of infrastructure for LoRaWAN networks, primarily in Europe, but also in other parts of the world. The network is designed to enable a wide range of applications in areas such as public transportation, smart metering, wearables, livestock and asset tracking, and M2M communications and sensor-based end nodes in IoT networks.

LoRaWAN hits the sweet spot between the cellular/LTE based technologies and the short-range very-high-throughput capabilities of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but most importantly delivers on the low-power and small-packet data requirements of many IoT applications. Implementing ultra-narrow-band technology and minimising energy consumption in battery-powered devices, and in the network itself, LoRaWAN is ideal for ‘smart city applications’. For example, it can support the primary data transport infrastructure for the sending of collected measurements from remotely located environmental monitoring devices. In the coming years, an alternative network for these types of applications is the new 3GPP NB-IoT technology, but it is still very early days for the standard, while LoRaWAN is already well established.

This brings us to Murata’s LoRa wireless module and why the module approach can bring a number of benefits for developers in this field. Highly integrated and measuring only 12.5 x 11.6 x 1.76mm in a metal-shielded LGA package, the CMWX1ZZABZ-078 is a stand-alone low-power device that is one of the world’s smallest solutions for adding LoRa-based wireless connectivity to a range of products and applications for the IoT and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. The module integrates the Semtech SX1276 RF transceiver together with a low-power microcontroller, the STM32L Cortex M0+ based MCU from STMicroelectronics. An integrated TCXO crystal oscillator has robust low-drift thermal characteristics and delivers an accurate clock source for the RF transceiver. The integration of the MCU means, depending on the application, an external microcontroller is not necessarily required for the system, which can deliver a high level of design flexibility. The STM32L has 192-kbytes flash memory and 20-kbytes RAM, which should provide enough memory for most applications or the ability to host other modulation protocol stacks.

This brings us to Murata’s LoRa wireless module and why the module approach can bring a number of benefits for developers in this field. Highly integrated and measuring only 12.5 x 11.6 x 1.76mm in a metal-shielded LGA package, the CMWX1ZZABZ-078 is a stand-alone low-power device that is one of the world’s smallest solutions for adding LoRa-based wireless connectivity to a range of products and applications for the IoT and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. The module integrates the Semtech SX1276 RF transceiver together with a low-power microcontroller, the STM32L Cortex M0+ based MCU from STMicroelectronics. An integrated TCXO crystal oscillator has robust low-drift thermal characteristics and delivers an accurate clock source for the RF transceiver. The integration of the MCU means, depending on the application, an external microcontroller is not necessarily required for the system, which can deliver a high level of design flexibility. The STM32L has 192-kbytes flash memory and 20-kbytes RAM, which should provide enough memory for most applications or the ability to host other modulation protocol stacks.  

Block diagram for Murata's CMWX1ZZABZ-078 LoRa module


Another important point is that the use of modules can simplify compliance testing. The Murata module has pre-certified radio regulatory approvals for operating in the 868 and 915MHz ISM spectrum. So, in addition to getting a pre-certified and pre-tested module, it is also suitable for integration in end products that can be deployed in most geographical regions of the world, thereby negating the need for separate solutions for each particular region. The module delivers a range of up to 15km in non-urban environments based on a normal output power of +14dBm, which can be further boosted by a power amplifier boost function to increase RF output to + 20dBm for longer range applications. Other specifications include UART, SPI or I2C peripheral interfaces and integration of an ADC and up to 18 GPIOs, providing flexibility for connecting sensors, switches and status LEDs.

The use of this module brings a number of other benefits: it essentially means that high levels of RF expertise, as well as detailed knowledge of LoRaWAN, are not necessarily required. Clearly this can have an effect on the size and capabilities of the team required to deliver the design. Buying in the connectivity subsystem should also mean fewer design iterations and allow the team to concentrate on the overall system design, potentially shortening time to market. In addition, basic standalone applications can be developed, simply by adding a sensor or combination of sensors, a battery or alternative energy solution, and an external antenna. The device is also available with an optional STSAFE secure element to enhance network security.

Essentially, Murata’s expertise in wireless is bought in, which can make a great deal of sense compared to high cost of developing dedicated discrete solutions that may also take up more board space. The use of a single module over the discrete approach can mean a smaller BoM and reduced operational costs, as well as a reduction in cost for board assembly.

Engineering samples of the CMWX1ZZABZ-078 and the datasheet are available now – click the button below to request. If you would like to discuss your LoRa application design in more detail, head to the Ask an Expert page to get in touch with one of our regional product specialists.

Want more like this? Sign up for our newsletters

About Author

Martin Keenan Photo
Martin Keenan

As Technical Director, Martin is responsible for technical marketing strategy across IP&E, power and...

Designing For Lorawan - Murata Wireless Modules | Avnet Abacus

Display portlet menu
[Content context="selected" uuid="0d19d57a-49fd-49a5-8acc-5a31eab29fae"

Designing For Lorawan - Murata Wireless Modules | Avnet Abacus

Display portlet menu
Related Articles
A photo of various antennas laid out on a white background
4 keys to selecting antennas for small IoT devices
November 19, 2019
Wireless connectivity is a critical enabler for many IoT applications. While a wireless module can simplify the RF subsystem design, a working system requires careful selection of an antenna as well.
Avnet Abacus helps engineers to develop smart flow meters for monitoring water and gas consumption. Alan Jermyn, VP Marketing, looks at what’s driving demand for smart meters, how they work and how they’re built.
Taking flow measurement to the next level
By Alan Jermyn   -   October 25, 2019
Avnet Abacus helps engineers to develop smart flow meters for monitoring water and gas consumption. Alan Jermyn, VP Marketing, looks at what’s driving demand for smart meters, how they work and how they’re built.
As the buzz around the Industrial IoT continues to grow, are manufacturers ready to move beyond the hype? How close are we to extensive IoT implementation and delivering real business value?
These 8 charts will challenge your perspective on the Industrial IoT
October 1, 2019
As the buzz around the Industrial IoT continues to grow, are manufacturers ready to move beyond the hype? How close are we to extensive IoT implementation and delivering real business value?
When specifying connectors for IIoT applications, making the right choice is vital to ensuring the integrity of the transmission. Vibration, humidity and environmental stress are regular concerns when specifying any system component for a factory or
Industry 3.0 vs. Industry 4.0: Selecting connectors for the new industrial age
June 17, 2019
When specifying connectors for IIoT applications, making the right choice is vital to ensuring the integrity of the transmission. Vibration, humidity and environmental stress are regular concerns when specifying any system component for a factory or
Recent advances in wireless technology have enabled the use of mesh network topologies in home and building control applications, but what are your options, and can you combine them?
A quick guide to multi-standard mesh networking
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   April 11, 2019
Recent advances in wireless technology have enabled the use of mesh network topologies in home and building control applications, but what are your options, and can you combine them?
As the world becomes increasingly smart and connected, batteries can be undesirable in some of the use cases. Kinetic energy harvesting is an alternative that can help achieve longer operating lifetimes, relieve ownership costs, and ideally improve r
A quick guide to powering smart objects with kinetic energy harvesting
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   January 22, 2019
As the world becomes increasingly smart and connected, batteries can be undesirable in some of the use cases. Kinetic energy harvesting is an alternative that can help achieve longer operating lifetimes, relieve ownership costs, and ideally improve r
And so electronica 2018 is over. In our final post, we look back on the best bits of day three.
From humanoids to holograms and humanity projects - How Avnet showcased the future at electronica
November 16, 2018
And so electronica 2018 is over. In our final post, we look back on the best bits of day three.
Another day at electronica 2018 has passed and it was arguably even busier than the first. A constant stream of customers and suppliers kept the atmosphere on the Avnet Abacus stand buzzing, and our schedule was packed full of great speakers and demo
electronica 2018 day two highlights
November 15, 2018
Another day at electronica 2018 has passed and it was arguably even busier than the first. A constant stream of customers and suppliers kept the atmosphere on the Avnet Abacus stand buzzing, and our schedule was packed full of great speakers and demo
On a crisp morning at Messe Munich there was an excited buzz around the exhibition centre as electronica 2018 opened its doors. Read what happened on day one.
electronica 2018 day one highlights
November 13, 2018
On a crisp morning at Messe Munich there was an excited buzz around the exhibition centre as electronica 2018 opened its doors. Read what happened on day one.
As electronica 2018 prepares to open its doors, here are three reasons you should visit Avnet Abacus on stand C5 101 this week.
3 reasons to visit Avnet Abacus at electronica 2018
November 12, 2018
As electronica 2018 prepares to open its doors, here are three reasons you should visit Avnet Abacus on stand C5 101 this week.
The new era of home security won’t just be an alarm that rings when a lock is picked or a window broken. With the rise of new technology comes the added need to protect a home’s hardware and its software.
Security and surveillance: Two sides of the coin in smart homes
By Martin Keenan   -   July 9, 2018
The new era of home security won’t just be an alarm that rings when a lock is picked or a window broken. With the rise of new technology comes the added need to protect a home’s hardware and its software.
You've selected your wireless protocol, and you're ready to start designing. But should you take the modular route or build a discrete solution?
Wireless modules point the way for IoT connectivity
By Martin Keenan   -   June 26, 2018
You've selected your wireless protocol, and you're ready to start designing. But should you take the modular route or build a discrete solution?
The lighting industry is not short of options for digital connectivity, but what it needs is a standard that adapts itself to change. Enter Bluetooth 5.
Future proofing lighting systems with Bluetooth
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   May 9, 2018
The lighting industry is not short of options for digital connectivity, but what it needs is a standard that adapts itself to change. Enter Bluetooth 5.
Wireless technology is endemic in modern society; broadly speaking we rely on cellular technology to stay connected when we’re travelling, and probably WiFi when we’re not.
Choosing the right wireless technology for your IoT end-device
By Adam Chidley   -   May 4, 2018
Wireless communications will connect the IoT, but it’s not quite as straightforward as adding a Wi-Fi access point to your home broadband. Avnet Abacus’ Adam Chidley takes a look at low power WANs and why they will be essential in connecting thin
The role of the battery in product design has become increasingly important. In fact, you could say it has provoked a change in design methodology, albeit with a bit of help from legislative bodies.
Optimising battery designs with supercapacitors
By Tim Parker   -   April 30, 2018
The role of the battery in product design has become increasingly important. In fact, you could say it has provoked a change in design methodology, albeit with a bit of help from legislative bodies.
Just how smart can a smart home get? Tomorrow’s home is a true a brainiac, making decisions for you before you even think to tell it to.
From enabled to proactive: The evolution of home automation
March 29, 2018
Just how smart can a smart home get? Tomorrow’s home is a true a brainiac, making decisions for you before you even think to tell it to.
The passive infrared sensor (PIR) seems so familiar that it is easy to miss the many applications that exist for it and the subtleties of engineering that guide the best ways in which to use it.
Adapting PIR sensor technology to new applications
By Martin Keenan   -   February 7, 2018
The passive infrared sensor (PIR) seems so familiar that it is easy to miss the many applications that exist for it and the subtleties of engineering that guide the best ways in which to use it.
Do you know where your product has been and where it is going right now? This is the challenge that many manufacturers and logistics companies face in the management of their supply chains, but how can RFID technology solve it?
Enabling smart tracking for the supply chain and Industry 4.0 with RFID
By Adam Chidley   -   September 27, 2017
Do you know where your product has been and where it is going right now? This is the challenge that many manufacturers and logistics companies face in the management of their supply chains, but how can RFID technology solve it?
Thanks to the emergence of the internet of things (IoT), almost all of today’s electronic device designs will have to integrate some form of wireless connectivity or other. The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to do this is with wireless modules.
State-of-the-art wireless modules save time, space and money
By Martin Keenan   -   September 12, 2017
Thanks to the emergence of the internet of things (IoT), almost all of today’s electronic device designs will have to integrate some form of wireless connectivity or other. The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to do this is with wireless modules.
In an increasingly connected world, performance demands on antennas are greater than ever. These increased performance demands also have to be balanced with cost, and of course, the limits imposed by the laws of physics, which make antenna design a t
Customising and optimising antennas with materials science and manufacturing techniques
By Martin Keenan   -   July 14, 2017
In an increasingly connected world, performance demands on antennas are greater than ever. These increased performance demands also have to be balanced with cost, and of course, the limits imposed by the laws of physics, which make antenna design a t
Specialised enclosures and switches are required for electronics’ survival in the great outdoors, writes Jerry Moss, Avnet Abacus.
Weather, corrosion and vandals: Protecting outdoor electronics
By Jerry Moss   -   June 30, 2017
Specialised enclosures and switches are required for electronics’ survival in the great outdoors, writes Jerry Moss, Avnet Abacus.
Datacentre racks
Chip-to-chip at the speed of light
By Marco Enge   -   March 31, 2017
As data centres and data farms continue to expand and grow, better solutions are required for system architectures that allow faster communication and more efficient operation.
Supercapacitors are commonly used as an alternative to a rechargeable battery wherever a quick energy boost is needed, however there is another type of device on the market which combines the best features of EDLCs and Li-ion batteries.
Hybrid capacitors combine technologies to get the best of both worlds
By Martin Keenan   -   March 15, 2017
Supercapacitors are commonly used as an alternative to a rechargeable battery wherever a quick energy boost is needed, however there is another type of device on the market which combines the best features of EDLCs and Li-ion batteries.
Combining the data from multiple sensors can tell us a great deal more about the application environment than each sensor could on its own.
Sensor Fusion: The future of intelligent devices
By Martin Keenan   -   March 14, 2017
Combining the data from multiple sensors can tell us a great deal more about the application environment than each sensor could on its own.
There are a number of battery form factors and chemistries available for powering remote beacon technology. In this article, Avnet Abacus’ Tim Parker guides you through the available options.
Design considerations for powering remote bluetooth beacons
By Tim Parker   -   February 9, 2017
There are a number of battery form factors and chemistries available for powering remote beacon technology. In this article, Avnet Abacus’ Tim Parker guides you through the available options.
Bluetooth Beacons and NFC (Near Field Communication) are often mentioned in the same breath, but in terms of technology and applications, they are not really that similar.
NFC vs. Bluetooth beacons: More different than similar
By Martin Keenan   -   August 12, 2016
Bluetooth Beacons and NFC (Near Field Communication) are often mentioned in the same breath, but in terms of technology and applications, they are not really that similar.
Selecting the right cable and/or connector assembly for a fibre optic installation need not be complex, but it is important to understand the requirements of the environment and the application.
Selecting fibre optic cables
By Marco Enge   -   July 12, 2016
Selecting the right cable and/or connector assembly for a fibre optic installation need not be complex, but it is important to understand the requirements of the environment and the application.
Industry 4.0 and the digitisation of the manufacturing sector will have repercussions for all sectors of industrial electronics.
Evolving component technologies will make Industry 4.0 viable
By Martin Keenan   -   May 22, 2016
Industry 4.0 and the digitisation of the manufacturing sector will have repercussions for all sectors of industrial electronics.
The Internet of Things (IoT) combines pervasive connectivity to control devices remotely with Big Data applications in The Cloud capable of organising vast quantities of information and extracting information hidden in the data to enable new services
The internet of medical things (IoMT) bringing better healthcare for all
By Martin Keenan   -   April 8, 2016
The Internet of Things (IoT) combines pervasive connectivity to control devices remotely with Big Data applications in The Cloud capable of organising vast quantities of information and extracting information hidden in the data to enable new services
Selecting batteries for Internet of Things connected systems can be tricky, as there is such a wide variety of application types.
Design trends: Batteries for IoT
By Tim Parker   -   March 11, 2016
Selecting batteries for Internet of Things connected systems can be tricky, as there is such a wide variety of application types.
Battery charging without cables can add convenience, durability and safety to a number of different applications.
A quick introduction to wireless charging
By Alan Jermyn   -   November 20, 2015
Battery charging without cables can add convenience, durability and safety to a number of different applications.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications has undergone phenomenal growth in recent years and connectivity is becoming increasingly reliant upon wireless networks.
Latest developments in antennas for M2M communications
By Marco Enge   -   April 30, 2015
Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications has undergone phenomenal growth in recent years and connectivity is becoming increasingly reliant upon wireless networks.

Designing For Lorawan - Murata Wireless Modules | Avnet Abacus

Display portlet menu
Related Events