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Nordic nRF9160 provides cellular IoT connectivity for its Pebble tracker

Nordic semiconductor announced that US Silicon Valley technology company IoTeX has selected Nordic nRF9160 low-power system-in-package (SiP) devices to provide cellular IoT connectivity for its Pebble tracker. IoTeX combines blockchain and trusted hardware to create a privacy-centric IoT ecosystem. By adopting Nordic nRF9160 integrated with LTE-M/NB-IoT modem and GPS, IoTeX’s Pebble tracker provides reliable location information, environmental and status data for global asset tracking and industrial supply chain applications.

IoTeX pointed out that current asset tracking solutions are vulnerable to hacker attacks and data tampering due to the lack of key security functions. Pebble trackers can meet supply chain applications that require high data security and integrity and multi-party trust.

Pebble tracker is available in two versions, the first version is for blockchain and IoT developers, and the second commercial version is designed for asset tracking and industrial supply chain markets.

The Pebble tracker integrates nRF9160 SiP, environmental sensors (temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, altitude and volatile organic compounds (VOC)), motion sensors (3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer) and ambient light sensors. nRF9160 SiP can realize cellular network connection and integrated GPS support through a single global version, and carry out accurate remote asset data tracking through mature cellular infrastructure.

In order to meet the strict security and privacy requirements in “trusted” professional tracking applications, nRF9160 SiP uses Arm TrustZone? (for trusted code execution) and Arm CryptoCell 310 (for application layer security). In addition, nRF9160 is the first secure hardware that interacts with the IoTeX blockchain, enabling large-scale distributed asset tracking applications.

The nRF9160 SiP securely sends environmental and GPS data to blockchain-based back-end services and applications through a mature global cellular network. These data are used to determine whether the conditions set by the smart contract have been met. For example, trusted tracker data can show whether, when and where assets have been improperly handled (for example, due to excessive vibration or temperature), and whether they have been damaged. Smart contracts on the blockchain can automatically impose penalties on the courier company. Compensate customers.


The Pebble tracker is powered by a 3.7V 750mAh lithium polymer battery. After charging, it can provide up to one week of battery life for typical asset tracking applications. This is partly due to the low power consumption characteristics of Nordic SiP. nRF9160 SiP minimizes the power consumption of the chip by supporting PSM and eDRX power saving modes.

nRF9160 is a low-power SiP device certified for use in global cellular Internet of Things applications. Its compact package contains an application processor and memory, integrated RF front-end (RFFE) multi-mode LTE-M / NB- IoT modem, GPS and power management. The 64 MHz Arm? Cortex?-M33 processor comes with 1MB flash memory and 256KB RAM, various analog and digital peripherals, automatic power supply and clock management, Arm TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell310. The processor communicates with the LTE modem through the BSD secure socket API, and supports application layer protocols (such as CoAP, MQTT or LWM2M) and the application itself. nRF9160SiP’s LTE modem supports SIM and eSIM cards, provides 700 to 2200 MHz LTE frequency band support, 23 dBm output power, single-pin 50 Ω antenna and UICC interface. The LTE stack layers L1 to L3, IPv4/IPv6, TCP/UDP, TLS/DTLS are part of the modem firmware. The target applications of nRF9160 SiP are asset tracking, smart cities, smart agriculture, industry, wearable devices, and medical care.

Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF9160 DK (pre-certified single-board development kit) and nRF Connect SDK (software development kit containing application layer protocols, application examples and LTE modem firmware, provided as pre-certified and pre-compiled download software) to simplify product development And speed up the time to market. For the Pebble tracker for developers, IoTeX has added blockchain-related APIs to the SDK so that it can interact with the IoTeX blockchain.

Raullen Chai, co-founder of IoTeX, said: “The reason why we chose cellular IoT instead of other low-power wireless wide area networks (LPWAN) is that, on the one hand, cellular IoT supports remote communication, and on the other hand, cellular IoT is derived from global cellular networks. Standards, which can ensure the reliability of communication and the operating life of the equipment. In addition, the cellular Internet of Things can make use of the existing cellular infrastructure, which facilitates the rapid listing of Internet of Things solutions.”

Chai added: “To realize IoTeX’s Trusted Things vision of the Internet of Things requires the joint efforts of semiconductor manufacturers and Internet of Things solution providers. By using security solutions provided by leading semiconductor manufacturers such as Nordic Semiconductor, IoTeX and other things Internet solution providers can build trusted IoT applications, which will help the entire IoT ecosystem achieve better user privacy control and security protection.”

“Nordic Semiconductor is one of the major manufacturers that bring low-power IoT solutions to the market. Nordic Semiconductor provides complete embedded software development tools, complete written documentation, and excellent technical support. All these factors prompted us to decide to use nRF9160 SiP.”

Geir Langeland, Director of Sales and Marketing at Nordic Semiconductor, said: “In order to promote the full potential of the Internet of Things, users must absolutely trust that the technology they use is safe and reliable. The Pebble tracker of IoTeX can meet these two requirements, thanks to nRF9160 SiP has built-in security features, reliability and cellular wireless communication technology.”

The Links:   FP15R12KE3G LM215WF3-SDDF