u-blox, a global provider of positioning and wireless communication technologies, and Arduino, providers of the world’s leading open-source hardware and software ecosystem, introduced four new boards to their MKR family, delivering enhanced wireless connectivity options for IoT applications.
Previously Arduino adopted u-blox for their MKR GSM 1400, now one of the most popular boards of the MKR family for its unique characteristics and robustness.
Arduino introduced the MKR family and form factor to address IoT use cases by focusing on a standard blue print including a hardware crypto chip for enhanced security, a LiPo charger for power management, and an ARM Cortex M0 microcontroller. The MKR family offers a wide range of connectivity options, from low power long range to more traditional options, to satisfy the most stringent user requirements for IoT applications.
One of the boards released is the MKR WIFI 1010, a Cortex M0-based board that provides Wi‑Fi connectivity to IoT projects. With a highly optimised design it integrates the globally certified u‑blox NINA‑W102 stand-alone multi-radio module delivering Wi‑Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Featuring an open CPU, the NINA‑W102 allows Arduino to run their own application right on the module, offloading communication tasks from the user-programmable Arduino CPU and increasing the board’s power efficiency.
Two more new boards incorporate the u-blox NINA-W102. The MKR Vidor 4000 is the first-ever Arduino board featuring an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) chip coupled with an innovative development environment, which aims to democratise and radically simplify access to the world of FPGAs. The Uno WiFi Rev 2 aims at making it even easier to deploy products that need Wi-Fi connectivity.
In addition Arduino expanded its cellular offering with the MKR NB 1500, which hosts a u‑blox SARA‑R410M cellular module providing LTE Cat NB1 and LTE-M cellular connectivity that is pre-certified for global use. Also equipped with an ARM Cortex M0 microcontroller, the MKR NB 1500 is fully geared towards IoT applications with low demands for bandwidth and data volumes and is optimised for ultra-low power consumption, enabling highly efficient battery-powered applications.
The new boards feature industrial grade communication modules with an extended temperature range and superior guaranteed reliability, making them attractive to professional users seeking to develop small volume products or quickly prototype new concepts and ideas.
“In order to grow a full portfolio of connectivity boards for professional IoT use cases, we needed to find a supplier offering a superior quality and easy-to-use, globally certified range of modules in line with our brand strategy. Their roadmap and the compatibility between the products offered by u‑blox sealed the deal for us,” says Fabio Violante, CEO of Arduino. “We also liked their approach to the educational market, that is in line with our vision.”
“For us at u‑blox, working with Arduino helps us extend our reach to a broad community of young engineers and tech enthusiasts, who now have an easy and affordable way to access our technology,” says Michael Ammann, senior principal market development at u‑blox. “We look forward to further expanding our partnership in the future.”
Purchase the new MKR boards on the Arduino website.