u-blox has extended its Wi-Fi stand-alone module portfolio with the new NORA-W3 module series that comprises dual-band Wi-Fi 4 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth LE 5 based upon a Realtek Ameba chipset. This series comes in two variants. The u-blox NORA-W36 with the u-connectXpress software simplifying the integration into the end-product, and the u-blox NORA-W30 with an open CPU architecture, allowing customers to run their own applications right on the modules.
This new series is aimed at market segments such as healthcare, HVAC, energy management, EV charging, professional grade power tools and industrial sensing or monitoring applications. These modules feature u-connectXpress to simplify the task of integration for designers, only requiring the use of high-level AT commands. Despite their small size, they also integrate two microcontrollers (MCUs): an Arm Cortex-M33 compatible, 200 MHz as the main MCU, and an Arm Cortex-M23 compatible, 20 MHz for low power operation. This system allows the complete communication firmware to run on the module.
By offering dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE, the u-blox NORA-W3 modules ensure a robust Wi-Fi connection in the field, partly due to the ability to operate in the less congested 5 GHz band while the Bluetooth LE capability ensures ease of use and installation. The small size of the NORA-W3 modules (measuring just 14.3 mm x 10.4 mm x 1.9 mm) makes them suitable for space-constrained designs – especially as a high-performance embedded antenna is included within this envelope.