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U-Blox module for Ingenu RPMA network

Steve Rogerson
May 25, 2017

U-Blox has launched one of the smallest modules for Ingenu’s Machine Network, which uses random phase multiple access (RPMA) low-power wide-area technology.
The Machine Network is a wireless network for M2M and IoT applications. Operating in the globally licence-free 2.4GHz ISM band, RPMA is at the heart of secure wireless networks operating in more than 20 countries around the world.
Swiss company U-Blox has ported the technology used in its first-generation RPMA modules and made it 65 per cent smaller. The Sara-S200 module is said to deliver significant cost and size optimisations for application in the smart meter, smart building, gas and oil, asset and personnel tracking, and agricultural industries.
As the second-generation module developed by U-Blox in association with Ingenu, the module builds on the companies’ strategic partnership, which began in September 2016 and was cemented with the introduction of the firm’s first module for the Machine Network, the Nano-S100.
“Ingenu’s patented RPMA technology offers significant advantages to a great variety of IoT applications, such as excellent in-building range and AES 128bit security encryption,” said Andreas Thiel, executive vice president of U-Blox. “With autonomous adaptation, the Machine Network delivers interference-free operation and the best performance and reliability in real-world applications. By bringing the Sara-S200 to market we can now deliver these outstanding features in the Sara footprint, our most popular form-factor.”
Measuring 16 by 26 by 2.3mm in a land grid array (LGA) package, the module provides an easy migration between other U-Blox form factors and cellular technologies thanks to nested design. Its low-power design – 50µW average power consumption in sleep mode – means it can operate for ten years or longer from a single battery.
The modules will be manufactured in ISO/TS 16949 certified facilities with guaranteed quality of service and a secure design that meets NERC CIP and other industry-mandated critical infrastructure requirements. The module has been designed for industrial applications and has an extended operating temperature of -40 to +85?C.
“Our strategic partnership with U-Blox is further strengthened by the introduction of Sara-S200,” said John Horn, CEO of Ingenu. “It will give our partners the option of a fully compliant RPMA module with the same outstanding performance, in a significantly smaller format. The introduction of the Sara-S200 module will help enable a new generation of IoT applications.”
U-Blox and SIM Technology Group will not proceed with the sale, respectively acquisition, of the SIMCom cellular module product line.
Despite efforts by SIM Technology Group and U-Blox, they could not close the deal as originally intended and were unable to find alternatives that worked for both while sustaining the intended benefits. Both parties have therefore decided to terminate amicably the asset purchase agreement and technology assignment contract with all ancillary agreements.