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The New u-blox SARA-R4 Series Offers Best-in-class Security As Well As Integrated GNSS Technology

Published: Mar 03,2020

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u-blox has extended its SARA-R4 family of LTE-M / NB-IoT and EGPRS cellular modules to include variants with the hardware and software features necessary to enable end-to-end security features and services for Internet of Things (IoT) data, devices, and ecosystems.

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“The new SARA-R422 product series offers superior security protection, industrial output power to grant best coverage even in weak signal conditions, and everywhere location using state-of-the-art u-blox GNSS technology”, says Rado Sustersic, Senior Product Manager, Product Center Cellular at u‑blox. “These represent valuable functionalities tailored specifically to the LPWA IoT market.”

The SARA-R4 series is ideal for a wide range of mission-critical IoT solutions such as connected healthcare, industrial monitoring, point of sale and vending terminals, tracking and telematics devices, as well as smart lighting solutions and building automation.

Security features include a unique and immutable root of trust (RoT) for each device, as well as access to a scalable pre-shared key (PSK) management system. This provides the foundation for a trusted set of advanced security functionalities to enable data encryption and decryption, both on device as well as from device to cloud. The choice of PSK based security, rather than the more complex and computationally intensive public key infrastructure (PKI) approach, strikes the right balance between implementation costs and level of security protection for many IoT applications.

All SARA-R422 modules provide 23 dBm output power, allowing the end device to properly operate in all network conditions. This means no issues at cell edges, no coverage issues in weak signal conditions, and, even more importantly, no unwanted re-transmission that shortens battery life by increasing transmit time and overall system power consumption.

The SARA-R422M8S is pre-integrated with the u-blox M8 GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver and a separate GNSS antenna interface. This uniquely provides highly reliable, accurate positioning data simultaneously with LTE communications. The module also supports hybrid positioning strategies, in which positioning data provided by satellite constellations is enhanced with data from the u-blox CellLocate® service, ensuring that location data is always available everywhere.

“Furthermore,” says Rado Sustersic, “the series is designed for long working lifetimes in the field, through the inclusion of support for LWM2M, a lightweight machine-to-machine communications protocol ideal for IoT applications with the possibility of updating the firmware of modules already in the field over the air via the uFOTA (Firmware Over The Air) client/server firmware service provided by u-blox”.

The u-blox SARA-R4 series will be presented at the upcoming Embedded World Nuremberg, Germany (February 25-27, 2020; Hall 3/Stand 3-139).

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