Actinius Icarus is a cellular IoT board with Nordic Semi nRF9160 SiP

Actinius Icarus is a cellular IoT board with Nordic Semi nRF9160 SiP

Amsterdam-based embedded device manufacturer Actinius has launched a cost-effective cellular IoT board in a feather wing form factor, Icarus, built around the Nordic Semi nRF9160 modem and combines LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity. Adafruit Feather boards have been very popular due to their small form factor and community support. There have been several other manufacturers other than Adafruit who decided to develop their custom development boards in the same form factor. Actinius Icarus comes with eSIM options for internet data right out of the box and a nano-SIM connector, which is very rare in the developing IoT ecosystem.

Actinius Icarus, as mentioned earlier, is based on the Nordic Semi nRF9160 modem, which is a low-power system-in-package that comes with wide-range connectivity. The Nordic Semi nRF9160 SiP features an Arm Cortex-M33 application processor, which is responsible for running different workloads. Full-modem SiP is an energy-efficient solution for cellular IoT applications supporting both LTE-M and NB-IoT. The application processor is equipped with 1MB of flash storage and 256kB of memory, making the application development seamless on a single device. The incorporated Arm CryptoCell security features offer cryptographic and security resources to protect the IoT application from various attack threats.

There also comes a low-power 3-axis accelerometer, general-purpose button, RBG LED, battery charging and measurement. The board supports various serial communication protocols, including I2C, UART, SPI, and I2C with EasyDMA. There are 18 GPIOs and up to 6x 12-bit ADC and up to 4x PWM units. The Actinius Icarus can be powered using multiple power sources, including LiPo charging with MPPT, and power headers. Importantly, the hardware platform does not come with an antenna and a uFL LTE antenna which is required to connect to a cellular network.

Actinius Icarus IoT Board View

Features of Actinius Icarus IoT Board:

  • Cellular connectivity: As a cellular IoT board, the Actinius Icarus needs to support various connectivity options, and the hardware platform does not fail to do so. Actinius Icarus supports NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M1 global coverage.
  • Multiple power sources: There are multiple power sources the board supports. The LiPo battery gives the flexibility to be deployed in critical remote IoT applications.
  • Free LTE-M and NB-IoT data: The board includes an eSIM with 10MB of free data for three months for the developer to get started with the board. After the trial period, the developer can choose to get a subscription on or get a nano-SIM.
  • Software capabilities: Icarus IoT board will be packaged with the pre-programmed latest modem firmware from Nordic. MCUboot, a secure bootloader for 32-bit microcontrollers, provides options for uploading the firmware to the board using a USB port and Actinius programmer application. The MCUBoot can also be used in combination with Zephyr RTOS on the nRF9160 SiP. Another software support that comes along with the cellular IoT board is the Actinius Asset Tracker Application Firmware, which can transmit data such as accelerometer, battery, and GPS data.

If you are interested in more information, consider visiting the official product page where you can purchase the hardware for €112,95 excluding VAT. The manufacturer has also provided detailed documentation to get started with Actinius Icarus IoT board.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share
About Abhishek Jadhav

Abhishek Jadhav is an engineering student, RISC-V ambassador and a freelance technology and science writer with bylines at Wevolver, Electromaker, Embedded Computing Design, Electronics-Lab, Hackster, and EdgeIR.

view all posts by abhishek
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Get new posts by email:
Get new posts by email:

Join 97,426 other subscribers