Rutronik News

LTE-M / NB-IoT multimode-module by Nordic at Rutronik

Created by Sarah Brucker |   Knowledge

Nordic Semiconductor‘s nRF91 series enables IoT applications to be easily and securely connected via the LTE-M and NB-IoT mobile communications standards designed specifically for IoT. With its small dimensions, high security standards and extremely low power consumption, the multi-mode module is the ideal solution for devices that need a battery-powered cellular connection.


The highly integrated LTE-M / NB-IoT System-in-Package (SiP) comes with an ARM Cortex-M33 host-processor, an ARM® CryptoCell 310 security IP and assisted GPS. Furthermore, it implements modem, transceiver, RF front end, a dedicated application processor, flash memory power management, and crystal and passive components in a single package. The nRF91 series thus combines all the advantages of traditional cellular modules, including teleregulatory and cellular certifications, with ease-of-use, unprecedented integration and a very small form factor. With dimensions of only 10x16x1.2mm it has a volume about five times smaller than comparable models with a separate GNSS module on the market. By combining a LTE-M and a NB-IoT modem, a single nRF91 variant is sufficient for global operation. Due to the SAW-less transceiver and the specially developed RF frontend from Qorvo, the nRF91 family is ideally suited for mass use.

Tailor made for IoT applications
In contrast to previous cellular solutions, the standards NB-IoT and LTE-M are specifically designed for IoT-applications and have relatively low data transmission rates. Thus, they are not only cheaper, but also have significantly lower power consumption. Devices can be used for months with a single battery charge. For an optimal connection at all times, the module automatically searches for available LTE-M and NB-IoT networks and switches between them. Roaming ensures a continuous connection across national borders. The nRF91 series is therefore ideal for applications where small amounts of data need to be transferred without Wi-Fi or smartphone, for example when it comes to positioning and navigation, agriculture, infrastructure monitoring and smart metering.

The integrated ARM Cortex-M33 processor and the ARM CryptoCell-310 security IP ensure the application’s protection. The built-in host processor with TrustZone for Armv8-M contributes to the security of application data, firmware and peripherals by using an isolated, trustworthy execution environment in the CPU and system. TLS and SSL protocols ensure secure data transmission, which is for example indispensable for the use of the popular MQTT protocol in the IoT world. Compared to solutions with an external host processor, this is a space-saving solution with reduced BOM list and optimized power consumption.

A combination of a rewritable flash memory technology and the possibility for over-the-air updates -allows subsequent improvements to the firmware, stacks and application. Another advantage is the integrated Assisted GPS (A-GPS), which enables a faster position determination during cold start thanks to NB-IoT/Cat-M and thus saves further energy in the customer application. In addition, sensors, LEDs, buttons or switching relays can be connected via 32 GPIOs.

To support developers, Nordic provides a software development kit with all common stacks, including MQTT, CoAP, http, LWM2M, IPv4, IPv6, DTLS, TLS and TCP.

You will find more information on Nordic‘s nRF91 here:

Contact Person (Rutronik):
Sarah Brucker, Product Sales Manager Wireless
Tel: +49 7231 801-0
e-mail: Sarah.Brucker(at)