Swiss firm u-blox has expanded its SARA cellular module family with 3G variants, the SARA-U2 series. The new modules are the industry’s smallest surface mount UMTS/HSPA cellular modems, ideal for a wide range of industrial M2M, vehicle and consumer applications, according to the company. The new SARA product line is available either as a 3G only version, or with 2G fall-back capability.
Applications include connected navigation systems, mobile-internet devices, security and surveillance systems, eCall, fleet management, metering, anti-theft and usage-based insurance systems, and battery driven handheld applications.
“SARA-U2 is the smallest 3G module on the market, allowing the creation of ultra-compact 3G solutions at price points unthinkable before. The 2G fall-back option makes it the ideal choice for systems that must deliver maximum coverage,” said Thomas Nigg, VP product marketing at u blox. “u blox now provides the industry’s most comprehensive, cross-compatible selection of cellular modems supporting all mobile standards.”
SARA-U2 UMTS/HSPA modules provide efficient and cost-effective high-speed mobile connectivity in an ultra-small 16 x 26 mm LGA form factor. Two of the four variants, the SARA-U260 and SARA-U270, provide GSM/GPRS fallback while SARA-U280 and SARA-U290 are cost-efficient 3G-only variants .
The modules are pin-compatible with SARA-G3 GSM/GPRS modules, as well as layout compatible with LISA-C2 CDMA and TOBY-L1 LTE modules to support future-proof 4G designs.
All SARA modules share the exact same form-factor and footprint, and are designed to support u-blox’ ‘Nested Design’ philosophy, which enables modems to be ‘hot-swapped’ across the entire range of u blox 2G, 3G and 4G cellular modems.
SARA provides a perfect solution to a wide range of M2M applications requiring UMTS/HSPA, GSM/GPRS, voice and/or data, plus optional Internet suite (embedded TCP/IP, UDP/IP, HTTP and FTP). In-band modem support for eCall and ERA GLONASS vehicle emergency call applications is also provided. Extremely low power consumption makes SARA perfect for battery powered communication applications, u-blox asserted.
The SARA Land Grid Array (LGA) form factor enables extremely compact designs and supports A-GPS for accelerated positioning used in telematics devices. It also supports u-blox’s CellLocate hybrid positioning technology to facilitate advanced location-aware systems requiring indoor positioning.
RIL software for Android and Embedded Windows is available free of charge.
SARA-U2 UMTS/HSPA module prototypes are available in February 2014; samples are available in April 2014.