u-blox has announced the u-blox LEXI-R4, its newest module customised for size-constrained application requirements. Albeit compact (16 x 16mm), the module supports all LTE-M and NB-IoT bands with an Radio Frequency (RF) output power of 23dBm, also offering the possibility to operate on a 2G network. The most common use cases comprise small asset trackers, like pet and personal trackers, micromobility devices, and luggage tags. Yet, its versatility enables it to encompass other applications, such as alarm systems, vending machines, and stolen vehicle recovery, to mention a few.
The u-blox LEXI-R4 has been conceived for size-demanding designs that proved challenging for previous modules, although still providing the same capabilities. The compact size results from a 40% footprint reduction in dimensions compared to the previous u-blox SARA-R4. The gained space can be used to potentially host larger antennas, which can improve RF performance, or to accommodate larger-size batteries.
Another prominent feature of LEXI-R4 is its 2G fallback capability. Whenever LTE-M / NB-IoT coverage conditions are not optimal, it keeps functioning by falling back onto a 2G network. This feature is highly convenient in countries where LTE-M / NB-IoT networks have yet to be fully deployed.
Natively designed to support GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) AT commands, the u-blox LEXI-R4 is also ready for GNSS bundling. Its dedicated port enables easy integration with any u-blox M10-based GNSS module, for instance the u-blox MIA-M10, hence offering better performance and low-power consumption. Moreover, the module can also connect to additional positioning services such as AssistNow and CellLocate.
“The u-blox LEXI-R4 is an ideal solution for size-constrained applications. Since the module supports the u-blox M10 GNSS platform, customers save execution time and resources. This is because the AT commands and a dedicated I2C port can operate the GNSS core, thus eliminating the need to integrate additional code into the MCU. In addition, the LEXI-R4 module offers a single SKU with global LPWA (low-power wide-area) coverage that simplifies logistics,” says Samuele Falcomer, Senior Product Line Manager, Product Center Cellular at u-blox.