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STM launches prototype boards to speed LoRa development

Steve Rogerson
February 22, 2017

Two ready-to-use prototype boards from Swiss chip company ST Microelectronics can help developers slash the cost for evaluating LoRaWan and other LPWAN technologies including 6LoWPan.
The boards are based on the smallest and lowest-power LoRaWAN modules that exist on the market today, with a footprint not larger than 13 by 12mm and power consumption in the range of 1.2µA in standby mode.
The B-L072Z-LRWAN1 STM32 LoRa Discovery Kit builds on an all-in-one open module from Japanese company Murata that integrates a STM32L072CZ microcontroller and Semtech SX1276 transceivers. The module features a LoRa modem that provides ultra-long-range spread-spectrum communications and high interference immunity while reducing current consumption.
Since the module is open, developers have access to the STM32L072 MCU and its peripherals such as ADC, 16bit timer, LP-uart, I2C, SPI and USB 2.0 FS, supporting BCD and LPM. They can design their applications using STM32L0 HAL and LL embedded software libraries, and can further extend the board’s functionality choosing from expansion boards within the STM32 Nucleo ecosystem or the range of Arduino expansion boards.
The kit includes an on-board debugger, a 64-pin STM32 Nucleo Morpho connector, an Arduino-compatible connector, and a battery socket. It also comes with access to a free development ecosystem that includes the MDK-ARM integrated development environment, STM32CubeMX configurator and software tools, and STM’s LoRaWan protocol stack.
The I-Nucleo-LRWAN1 is an expansion board for STM32 Nucleo or Arduino boards that can be plugged in to start quickly developing a full LoRa-based or FSK/OOK connectivity applications. The board features a LoRaWan module from USI together with an STM32L052T8 MCU and Semtech SX1272 transceivers.
The USI module comes pre-loaded with an AT command stack that helps streamline development and saves programming. The I-Cube-LRWAN stack is available free of charge. As an extra bonus, to aid development of IoT applications, the board is also equipped with STM’s LIS2DS12 3-axis accelerometer, LPS22HB MEMS pressure sensor and HTS221 humidity and temperature sensor.
Both boards are LoRaWan-certified and compliant with wireless regulations in the USA, EU, Russia, India and other countries using the 860 to 930MHz frequency bands. In addition to the industry-standard protocols, they also support proprietary LPWAN protocols for long-range connection of IoT devices such as smart meters, alarm systems, tracking devices, positioning devices, environmental sensors and activity sensors.