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Microchip Introduces New 8-Bit MCU Development Board to Connect to 5G LTE-M Narrowband IoT Networks

Technology Cover
Post Date: 2022-06-23, Microchip Technology

   The AVR-IoT Cellular Mini Development Board, the latest addition to Microchip's AVR® family, provides developers with an easy blueprint for building IoT devices

   IoT network developers want to easily implement secure cellular connectivity in their design applications, but face complex designs and high deployment costs. To provide solutions for network designers with stringent requirements for location flexibility, low power consumption, and simplicity of deployment, Microchip Technology Inc. today announced the availability of AVR128DB48 8-bit microcontroller (MCU)-based AVRs -IoT Cellular Mini Development Board. This solution provides a powerful platform for building sensor and actuator nodes on 5G NB-IoT networks.

     The AVR-IoT Cellular Mini Development Board is a Small Form Factor (SFF) board that is an ideal solution for developers looking to connect IoT devices to existing 5G networks. This is an important capability for devices on the move or in remote locations where long-distance (LoRa®) networks or other low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) solutions are hard to come by.

     Customers can take advantage of the flexibility and ease of design offered by the latest additions to the AVR128DB48 8-bit microcontroller family, including security with Microchip's ATECC608 CryptoAuthentication™ device. The ATECC608 device can be easily configured to support most major cloud service providers through Microchip's IoT pre-configuration tool.

     "Microchip continues to expand the AVR® 8-bit microcontroller family, giving developers the ease and flexibility to implement a wide variety of embedded designs," said Greg Robinson, vice president of marketing for Microchip's 8-bit microcontroller business unit. With key capabilities such as the 8-bit unibody capable of connecting long-range and mobile devices to 5G narrowband networks, it opens up new opportunities for battery-powered devices.”

    The pre-configured AVR-IoT cellular mini board sends data from the onboard light and temperature sensors to the cloud, which can be viewed through Microchip's sandbox portal. The Sandbox Portal provides customers with the ability to track and monitor devices in real-time from remote locations, meeting the core requirements of industry applications such as agriculture, industry and energy, as well as consumer areas such as cargo transportation, alarm systems, building automation and remote monitoring.

     To provide developers with an easier, more efficient, and more economical solution for connecting IoT devices to 5G using the AVR128DB48 MCU, Microchip has partnered with Sequans to feature 5G LTE-M and narrowband IoT in the Monarch 2 GM02S single-chip radio networking. Microchip is also partnering with Truphone to provide SIM cards that support cellular service with reliable coverage around the world.

    "Designed for NB-IoT applications, the Monarch 2 GM02S is a 5G-ready LTE-M and NB-IoT microcontroller solution for sensors, wearables and other low-data , low-power devices. By partnering with Microchip to introduce the AVR-IoT cellular board, we are simplifying and reducing the cost of IoT device design.”

     Steve Alder, Chief Business Development Officer at Truphone, said: “We are committed to reimagining the way people, things and businesses connect through breakthrough embedded SIM (eSIM) technology. Owning and operating all elements of the eSIM ecosystem in-house, This, coupled with access to a large number of low-power cellular networks through a single SIM card SKU, provides future-proof cellular services for Microchip customers looking to connect IoT devices."

     The AVR-IoT Cellular Mini Development Board is a great solution for makers and hobbyists as it conforms to the Adafruit Feather form factor. The development board is equipped with a Qwiic/Stemma I2C connector, which facilitates function expansion and provides a clear path for production. Additionally, the board is Arduino® compatible and supported by the Microchip Github library, which provides features such as HTTPS, MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT), and low power consumption.

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