ILabs’ New RP2040 Connectivity Board Features u-blox SARA-R412M LTE (Cat M1/NB-IoT) and ESP32 Modules

ILabs’ New RP2040 Connectivity Board Features u-blox SARA-R412M LTE (Cat M1/NB-IoT) and ESP32 Modules

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ILabs’ RP2040 Connectivity Board is an RP2040-based development board with u-blox SARA-R412M for LTE (Cat M1/NB-IoT) and Espressif’s ESP32-C3FN4 for WiFi/BLE, designed for versatile IoT applications from remote monitoring to smart connected devices.

We’ve covered various connectivity boards like the SparkFun LTE Stick, and the Walter ESP32-S3, but the RP2040 Connectivity Board is unique as it combines an ESP32 and RP2040, offering the best of both worlds.

The board features Espressif’s ESP32-C3FN4 chip, providing advanced Wi-Fi and BLE. It’s powered by a RISC-V core with 4MB flash and 408KB SRAM and includes the ESP-AT interpreter for diverse network functionalities. It’s energy-efficient, with a 500mA battery charger, and has user-friendly reset and UF2 buttons, plus options for both onboard and external antennas.

It also includes the SARA-R412M module for LTE (Cat M1/NB-IoT), offering worldwide coverage and strong security features. This module connects to the RP2040 via a hardware serial port for fast data transfer and has an easy-to-install cellular antenna with a U.FL connector.

For network access, the board requires a nano SIM card. Users can choose their own SIM or opt for the 1NCE prepaid card, which provides 120 months of global connectivity for 150 SEK, including 500 MB of data and 250 SMS. The provided SIM card is meant for evaluation; for more features, users can directly contact 1NCE.

ILabs’ RP2040 Connectivity Board Features and Specifications:

  • High-Performance Microcontroller: Features RP2040 from Raspberry Pi, with dual-core Cortex M0 processor at 133MHz, 8 MB FLASH memory, and 264 Kb integrated RAM.
  • LTE Connectivity: Includes SARA-R412M module for LTE (Cat M1/NB-IoT/eGPRS) with international coverage and advanced IoT security features.
  • WiFi/BLE Capabilities: Integrated ESP32-C3FN4 chip supporting various Wi-Fi modes, Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth 5, and mesh capabilities.
  • USB Type-C Interface: Modern USB Type-C port for enhanced durability and compatibility.
  • BConnect Interface Connector: Allows for connecting a wide range of peripherals.
  • Power Efficiency: Low power supply design and onboard LiPO battery charger capable of 500mA for rapid charging and extended battery life.
  • User Interface: Two buttons for easy reset and UF2 mode activation, flexible antenna options with on-board chip antenna or U.FL connector.
  • Nano SIM Card Slot: Supports various prepaid SIM card options including 1NCE IoT Flat Rate.
  • Versatile Applications: Ideal for projects like remote monitoring systems and smart connected devices.
  • Arduino Compatibility: User-friendly programming compatible with Arduino, supported by comprehensive guides.
  • Expansion Capabilities: 26-pin expansion header for connecting sensors, buttons, and various devices.
  • Durable and User-Friendly Design: Equipped with a durable USB Type-C interface and user-friendly buttons for easy operation.

The board features a USB Type-C interface, a BConnect connector for peripherals, a built-in LiPO battery charger, and a 26-pin header for connecting sensors and devices. It supports Arduino programming, with detailed guidance on Earle F. Philhower’s GitHub and ILABS’ instructions. Programming the board is simplified due to its compatibility with Arduino. Detailed instructions can be found on Earle F. Philhower’s GitHub page and ILABS’ instructional pages.

The RP2040 Connectivity Board is available for purchase for 795.00 Swedish Krona, which is roughly equal to $77.79 in US dollars. This price offers value for its wide range of features and capabilities in the IoT sphere.

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About Debashis Das

Tech Content Creator | Hardware Design Engineer | IoT Enthusiast | Digital Storyteller | Video Creator | From crafting digital dialogues at Semicon Media to orchestrating online engagement at Electronics-lab.com, my journey is about making tech talk interesting and accessible. In the quiet corners of the day, I advocate for easier tech education, one tutorial at a time. Let's connect and keep the digital dialogue going!

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