Module maker u-box intros new LTE-M and GNSS ‘combo’ units for low-power IoT

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IoT module manufacturer LTE-M biological module GNSS positioning UBX-R5 mobile chip Industrial IoT applications


u-blox, a prominent European IoT module manufacturer, unveils its latest offerings, the SARA-R52 and LEXI-R52 LTE-M biological modules, tailored for industrial IoT applications. These modules, powered by the advanced UBX-R5 mobile chip, integrate GNSS positioning, ideal for sectors like healthcare, utilities, and logistics. The SARA-R520M10, featuring concurrent GNSS and LTE-M connectivity, addresses continuous tracking needs, while the compact LEXI-R52 suits ultra-small applications like wearables.

Enhancements within the UBX-R52 chip streamline IoT development, reducing costs and footprint. SpotNow enables rapid GNSS fixes, crucial for sporadic tracking tasks. The inclusion of a compute processing unit (uCPU) allows onboard software execution without an external microcontroller. u-blox’s connection manager (uSCM) software ensures automatic connectivity management for optimized performance or power consumption. With higher RF output power, the R52 series guarantees stable connectivity, signaling u-blox’s commitment to advancing IoT technology for industrial applications.

In detail

European IoT module manufacturer u-blox has unveiled two new LTE-M biological module series, the SARA- R52 and LEXI-R52, intended for use in industrial Internet of Things. Both incorporate GNSS positioning and are built on its UBX- R5 mobile chip. They are being pitched by the company for monitoring and tracking applications in the healthcare industry as well as the utilities and logistics industries.

A new” combo module” is added to the R52 series to provide concurrent GNSS and LTE-M connectivity, which is “important for applications requiring constant or circular tracking.” According to the manufacturer, the SARA- R520M10 has an integrated GNSS receiver ( M10 ) for” concurrent low-power tracking, better time-to-first-fix ( TTFF), and improved radio ( RF ) sensitivity.” It continued,” It is customized for users who want a pre-integrated cellular and GNSS solution.”

The LEXI-R52 has all the same features as the SARA- R52, but it has a smaller form factor ( 16x16x2 mm ), making it “ideal for ultra-small applications like wearables.”

Additionally, a number of new features in the UBX-R52 chip have been announced in an effort to do away with extra componentry and lower the costs and footprint of IoT development. A 10 meter fix on an IoT device is made possible by the GNSS positioning feature, known as SpotNow, in” a couple of seconds.” It is intended for sporadic tracking uses like cleaning machines, old trackers, or recycling waste dumpsters, according to u- blox.

Also, u-blox has a compute processing unit ( ‘uCPU’ ) that enables users to run their own software inside the chip without the aid of an external microcontroller (MCU). According to the company’s connection manager (uSCM) software, “automatic connectivity management” is intended for “either best performance or lowest power consumption” in the event of a connection drop, for instance.


In comparison to the 20 to 21 dBm of most LTE- M modules, the R52 series offers 23 rf output power. “This guarantees stable connectivity under difficult coverage circumstances.” Volume production is anticipated in the fourth quarter, and samples are currently available.

Matthew Boyle

Matthew Boyle is a distinguished Smart City Consultant, renowned for his expertise in IoT (Internet of Things) and cutting-edge urban technology solutions. With a deep understanding of Smart City initiatives, Matthew excels in leveraging IoT innovations to transform urban landscapes into efficient, sustainable, and connected environments. His strategic insights and hands-on experience in urban planning, data analytics, and IoT implementation make him a trusted expert in the field. Matthew Boyle is your go-to consultant for navigating the complex world of Smart Cities, ensuring seamless integration of IoT technologies, and unlocking the potential of data-driven urban solutions. With his guidance, your city can thrive in the digital age, enhancing quality of life and fostering a sustainable future.

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