IoT network developers are looking for an easy path to implement a secure cellular connection in their design applications but are faced with design complexities and high deployment costs. To offer a solution for network designers who need the ultimate in location flexibility, low power consumption and deployment simplicity, Microchip Technology has announced the AVR-IoT Cellular Mini Development Board based on the AVR128DB48 8-bit microcontroller (MCU). This solution provides a robust platform to start building sensor and actuator nodes on 5G narrowband IoT networks.
The AVR-IoT cellular mini development board is a small form factor board, making it an ideal solution for developers who want to connect IoT devices to an available 5G network. This is an essential feature for devices on the go or located in remote areas with limited availability of long range (LoRa®) networks or other low power wide Area network (LPWAN) solutions.
Customers can tap into the flexibility and ease of design offered in the latest AVR128DB48 8-bit MCU family, including security protection with Microchip’s ATECC608 CryptoAuthentication™ device. The ATECC608 device can easily be configured to most major cloud service providers through Microchip’s IoT Provisioning Tool.
“Microchip continues to expand its family of AVR® 8-bit MCUs for developers to implement a variety of embedded designs with ease and flexibility,” said Greg Robinson, vice president of marketing for Microchip’s 8-bit MCU business unit. “The ability to connect remote and mobile devices to a 5G narrowband network with an 8-bit MCU opens up new opportunities for battery-operated devices because of key factors such as low power combined with high quality analog peripherals.”
The AVR-IoT Cellular Mini Development Board comes pre-configured to send data from on-board light and temperature sensors to the cloud, viewable using Microchip’s sandbox portal. The sandbox portal provides customers with the ability to track and monitor their device in real time from a remote location.
This functionality covers the core requirements of many applications in various industries including agriculture, industrial and energy, as well as consumer spaces such as transportation of goods, alarm systems, building automation and remote monitoring.
To provide an even easier, more efficient and more cost effective solution for developers to connect IoT devices to 5G using the AVR128DB48 MCU, Microchip partnered with Sequans to include its Monarch 2 GM02S single-chip radio equipped with 5G LTE-M and narrowband IoT. Microchip also partnered with Truphone to provide the SIM card for cellular service that offers reliable coverage worldwide.
“The Monarch 2 GM02S is a 5G-ready LTE-M and narrowband-IoT solution on a single chip, which we designed specifically for narrowband IoT applications, including sensors, wearables and other low data, low power devices,” said Didier Dutronc, executive vice president of partnership strategy at Sequans. “By partnering with Microchip on its AVR-IoT cellular board, we are simplifying and lowering the costs of IoT device design.”
“We are committed to reinventing the way in which people, things and businesses connect through our embedded SIM (eSIM) technology,” said Steve Alder, chief business development officer of Truphone. “Owning and operating all elements of the eSIM ecosystem in-house coupled with access to a large number of low power cellular networks through a single SIM SKU, provides Microchip customers looking to connect IoT devices a future proof cellular service.”
The AVR-IoT cellular mini development board is a great solution for makers and hobbyists as it fits the Adafruit Feather form factor. It features a Qwiic/Stemma I2C connector for easy functionality extension, creating a clear path to production. It is also Arduino®-compatible and is supported by Microchip’s Github Library which provides functionality for HTTPS, MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT), low power and more.
Users can access the Microchip sandbox page for a tutorial on the necessary steps to get up and running and establish a connection with the AVR-IoT cellular mini development board.