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Nordic Semiconductor and Swift Labs Release Nordic nRF9160

By Chrissie Cluney
May 06, 2020

Nordic Semiconductor has collaborated with Canadian wireless hardware design specialists, Swift Labs to include the Nordic nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) in as a product of their ‘C1D1’ line. This is an IIoT module that can bring even the most sensitive and regulated IIoT environment and material applications to the market in just 3 to 6 months.

“This really ‘ups’ the design complexity. There’s no room for error in any single aspect of the design from the fail-safe components on the  PCB [printed circuit board] to trace width sizing, to the unique anti-ESD [electrostatic discharge] enclosure which are all designed with the utmost scrutiny in terms of operational reliability and fail-safe predictability,” said Mike Brown, senior director, Solutions Architecture, Swift Labs.

 According to Swift Labs, IIoT applications are ones “where components have to perform 100 percent reliably; require long battery life; and in the event of failure scenario such as being crushed, fail safely so as not create a fire, overheating, or sparking risk, particularly in explosive and flammable environments.”

The Swift Labs ‘Design Blocks’ PCB platform measures 55 x 36 x 4.9mm in size. The product includes GPS and LTE antennas. Additionally, the device includes an extended list of customizable sensing options including 9-axis absolute orientation, air pressure and humidity, time-of-flight, and air quality.

“In the industrial IoT sector the ability to automate what was once laborious, costly, and time-consuming in safety-critical operations is now technologically and commercially-viable for the first time,” said Paul Wilson, CEO, Swift Labs.

Utilizing the on-board capabilities of the Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 SiP, the platform offers an accelerometer and temperature sensor as standard, multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT capabilities, GPS and a powerful Arm Cortex-M33 application processor.


“It’s worth noting that LTE-M and NB-IoT networks have been rolling out globally on a massive scale over the past 12-18 months,” said Wilson. “And in North America alone we’re already looking at near 100 percent coverage and support from every major network operator.

All an IIoT customer needs to do is to integrate the module into an application defined as the use case. Swift Labs will rapidly productize a custom solution fit for the global market and adhering to C1D1 system design principles.

“That means the ‘time’ for cellular IoT has arrived and in the industrial IoT sector the ability to automate what was once laborious, costly, and time-consuming in safety-critical operations is now technologically and commercially-viable for the first time. This runs from valve status in an oil and gas pipeline [“on”, “off”, “faulty”] to making sure vital medications are 100 percent tracked, traced, and stored at the correct temperature during transportation,” said Wilson.


Chrissie Cluney has been a correspondent for IoT Evolution World since 2015. She holds a degree in English with a concentration in writing from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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