Many developers and hobbyists are innovating in the open-source Arduino platform for Internet of Things (IoT) projects. Arduino created the smaller MKR form-factor series of boards specifically for IoT applications — where power consumption and hardware size are concerns.
Two new wireless connectivity boards simplify IoT development
Encouraging designers to use one standard format for IoT projects, the company has announced the launch of two more developer boards sharing the MKR form factor (67.64 × 25mm) at Arduino Day 2018 — the Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 with WiFi and the MKR NB 1500 supporting the new low-power NB-IoT (narrowband IoT) standard.
Simplify Prototyping of WiFi-based IoT applications
The Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 is the new version of the MKR1000 with ESP32 module on board made by u-blox. The board aims to speed up and simplify the prototyping of Wi-Fi-based IoT applications leveraging to the flexibility of the ESP32 module and its low power consumption.
The ESP32 module delivers 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth communications capability. The ESP-32 provides adjustable power output, enabling optimal trade-offs between communication range, data rate and power consumption, said the company.
Fully compatible with the Arduino IT cloud, the MKR1010 also offers simple migration from other Arduino boards, and uses open-source WiFi firmware, which makes it easy to reprogram for upgrading or to repair any security flaws.
A significant feature is the MKR1010’s two standalone programmable processors – the first based on ARM processor core technology, the second based on a dual-core Espressif IC – making the board a high-performance solution that can distribute its workload across its dual-processor system.
Another major feature is the integration of a secure authentication module – Microchip’s ECC508 – which uses crypto authentication to secure TLS network communications and connections.
NB-IoT board offers connectivity in remote or difficult to access locations
The second board introduced is the MKR NB 1500, which employs the latest low-power NB-IoT (narrowband IoT) standard, designed to work over cellular/LTE networks. The MKR NB 1500 is the perfect choice for applications in remote areas with no internet connection or power is available such as on-field monitoring systems and remote-controlled LTE-enabled modules.
Designed for global deployment, it supports transmissions via AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Telstra, Verizon over the Cat M1/NB1 deployed bands 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 20 and 28.
“The NB-IoT communications technology makes use of existing LTE cellular networks and delivers significantly faster communications than alternative IoT networks such as LoRa and Sigfox, while also having a low impact on battery consumption. In addition, when compared to typical GSM or 3G cellular connectivity, wake up times and connections are much faster, which enables significant power saving”, Arduino noted in the blog post.
Key features of the new Arduino boards:
- Both of the new boards are fully compatible with the Arduino Uno, Mega and existing MKR boards.
- Also common to both boards is their MKR footprint, as well as the same wide range of available interfaces, including I2S, I2C, UART and SPI.
- Both boards also operate at 3.3V and offer input/output options including 22 digital I/Os – 12 with PWM outputs – and seven analog inputs.
Both the MKR WiFi 1010 and the MKR NB 1500 will be available for purchase from store.arduino.cc from June 2018.
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