This blog gives a snapshot of the development status of nRF9160 features, performance and qualification leading up to mass production.
The nRF9160 hardware and development kits are now in production and is suitable for full end-to-end sensor to cloud development. We’re still developing features and optimizing performance and will be rolling out sampling and production as follows:
December 12th 2018
March 31st 2019
Firmware images are posted on the product page.
There are three variants of the nRF9160 supporting different radio technologies. Samples are available of nRF9160-SICA and you can buy devices for engineering builds from your distributor. The sampling and production schedules are as follows:
April 30th 2019
Certification status and roadmap is kept up-to-date on nordicsemi.com/9160cert
We had a few things to fix in the silicon, and not all changes have made it into sampled material yet. This does affect active current consumption for example. Please check out the nRF9160 SiP errata for more detail. nRF9160 SiPs where the issues have been fixed will be available before production.
GSMA keeps a good list of currently available LTE-M and NB-IoT networks globally here:
Most of them have also made it into a nice map here:
You can find the application SDK examples here:
Notable components tested and included: MQTT, secure BSD sockets, peripheral and DK board drivers
Notable todos: flash writing, CoAP, HTTP, LWM2M, DFU
The modem can be traced through the application processor. The easiest way to get the traces out is through UART. The nRF Connect for Desktop has an app for that.
The nRF9160 DK serves as a software development platform, field testing tool and reference design. It is the vehicle for all of our certification testing which makes it valuable as a reference design.
Unfortunately, in the current version, matching components for the on-board GPS antenna on the DK are not optimal and will give poor to no functionality of the GPS. It is recommended to connect an external active GPS antenna to compensate. We will put up some recommended ones when we’ve done some testing.
Though we have now made the nRF9160 publicly available for developers, it does not mean that we are done with the power optimizations. The functionality of eDRX and PSM is in place but we still have tuning to do in clock speeds of the different processing elements in the modem, further optimizations of scan algorithms etc. That being said, it already preforms really well on many parameters. Before we transfer the nRF9160 to production, we will release an updated firmware image that shows off the low power features of nRF9160 properly. But we’ll never stop chasing that last uJ of energy saving in the design…
PSM is typically used for applications that can wait 10 minutes or more between each time it connects to the network
After a PSM TAU, the device stays awake in connected mode and idle mode DRX for a while:
DRX/eDRX is typically used for applications that require 10 minutes or lower latency on downlink traffic to the device or send data with that frequency.
The nRF9160 Errata on current affects these numbers adversely due to higher active current:
I don't think we have good values that will work with the LTE antenna so close. Hence the recommendation to use external atenna for now until we have found a better on-board design.
Siretta MIKE3A, Maxtena MEA-GPS-S, TallysmanTW4020
A bias-tee and one of these active ones should work well and let you work with the antenna placed in the window sill away from your desk:
Thank you. However, i can't seem to find any RX values? I'm interested in the use case of eDRX where I want to know what power of the paging consumes when in idle eDRX. I assume that it might be around 160mW. Thanks
Could you please tell what are the new values for matching components for the on-board GPS antenna?