Back in 2017, Nordic Semiconductor released their Thingy:52 IoT prototyping platform designed around the nRF52832 Bluetooth 5 WiSoC, which was aimed at quickly building prototypes quickly without the need for excess hardware or even the need to write firmware code. The company has recently unveiled a new IoT development package aimed at cellular applications with the Thingy:91 multi-sensor prototyping platform.
Thingy:91 is based on the nRF9160 SiP, with LTE-M, NB-IoT, and GPS connectivity, which Nordic says is ideal for creating proof-of-concept (PoC) projects, demos, and initial prototypes in the cIoT development phase. In fact, it comes preloaded with an asset-tracking application to get started with those applications. Under the hood, the Thingy:91 features an Arm Cortex-M33 core, with 700–960 MHz + 1710–2200 MHz LTE band support, CE/FCC certifications, an nRF52840 board controller, and LTE-M/NB-IoT/GPS, Bluetooth LE, and NFC antennas.
The platform also offers a Nano/4FF SIM card slot, user-programmable button, RGB LEDs, buzzer, four N-MOS transistors (for external DC motors or LEDs), and rechargeable Li-Po battery with 1,440mAh capacity. There’s a slew of sensors too — including temperature, humidity, air quality, and air pressure, as well as a color and light sensor, low-power accelerometer and high-g accelerometer. It even packs an nRF52840 multi-protocol SoC that supports multiple short-range wireless technologies, such as Zigbee, Bluetooth 5.0, Thread, and ANT.
Nordic’s Thingy:91 comes in a rubberized case with a USB port to charge the internal Li-Po battery, and is programmed using the company’s nRF Connect SDK with integrated Zephyr RTOS. The platform is available from several vendors with pricing starting at $119, and more information can be found on the Thingy:91 at Nordic’s product page linked above.
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Author: Cabe Atwell