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$2 Wisol SFM10R1 & SFM10R2 Sigfox Modules and Evaluation Board

November 14th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

LoRa appears to be one of the most popular long range lower power WAN standards, at least based on the number of hobbyist boards coming to market, but hardware is not exactly cheap with modules such as Microchip RN2483 & RN2903 LoRa modules selling a little over $10, and development board such as LoPy normally going for at least $35. If large scale IoT is ever going to take off, prices will have to go lower, and AFAIK we are still waiting for the promised sub $2 Weightless chips. But if Elettronica In tweet is to be believed some Sigfox modules made by Korean company Wisol are selling for just $2, likely in larger quantities.

sigfox-module-wisol

WiSOL SFM10R1 is made with RCZ1 (Radio Configuration Zone 1 – ETSI – Europe), while SFM10R2 module is made for RCZ2 ((Radio Configuration Zone 2 – FCC – North America).

SFM10R1 key features and specifications:

  • Chipset – ON Semiconductor AX-SFEU-1-01 Sigfox Ready RF Transceiver SoC
  • RF
    • Tx Freq./ Data rate : 868.13MHz/ 100bps
    • Rx Freq./ Data rate : 869.525MHz/ 600bps
    • Max Tx Radiated Power: +14 dBm
    • Rx Sensitivity: -127 dBm0
  • Power Supply – 1.8V to 3.6V
  • Power Consumption – Tx: 60 mA (max); Rx: 15 mA (max); Idle: 2 μA
  • Dimensions – 15.0 x 13.0 x 2.21 mm
  • Weight – 0.85 grams

SFM10R2 module specifications:

  • Chipset – ON Semiconductor AX-SFUS-1-01 Sigfox Ready RF Transceiver SoC
  • RF
    • Freq. bands : 902~928MHz
    • Data rate : 600bps
    • Tx Output Power : +24dBm(max.) @600bps
    • Rx Sensitivity : -129dBm(min.) @600bps
  • Power Supply – +2.7V~+3.6V
  • Power Consumption – Tx: 200mA (max), Rx : 40mA (max) @ 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 20.0 x 13.0 x 2.21 mm
  • Weight – 1.1 grams

sigfox-evaluation-development-board

The company also provides two similar evaluation boards: EVBSFM10R1 (RCZ1) or EVBSFM10R2 (RCZ2) with either module with an on-board Debugger, a USB connected UART port, 2 tack-switches and 4 LEDs, an unpopulated header with 6 digital and 4 analog I/Os, as well as an SMA antenna and USB cable for debugging. I don’t have any info about software since you need to register as a company to get the full details.

The European module and evaluation board are now sampling, while the North American hardware is still in under development. There’s no word about the evaluation board price. You’ll find some more details on Sigfox Wisol page, as well as Wisol’s own website.

  1. TLS
    November 14th, 2016 at 16:49 | #1

    Just keep in mind that Sigfox require access to the network as well, which isn’t free of charge. Of course, it also requires there to be a network in your country.

  2. TC
    November 14th, 2016 at 18:16 | #2

    i bet the chinese are just waiting for which standard ‘wins’ before flooding the market

  3. November 14th, 2016 at 21:40 | #3

    @TLS
    Sure but for the price of one LoRa gateway I can have a Sigfox device connected for 100 years

  4. November 14th, 2016 at 21:48 | #4

    @TC
    There isn’t anything for the Chinese to flood the market with!

    At hardware level Sigfox is just ultra-narrowband radio, implemented in dozens of dirt cheap RF frontend chips such as the TI CC1120, I don’t think the price of those can really go any lower.

    Sigfox does control the protocol stack on top of that – but unless the Chinese break the encryption and start cloning devices they can’t really flood the market without Sigfox’s approval.

    On LoRa side it’s the opposite, you have proprietary hardware on top of an open source (but not 100% IP free) stack. The Chinese can certainly clone the hardware but Semtech holds all the patents and would sue anyone trying to sell those in any respecting market.

    On LTE side with NB-IoT you have both proprietary hardware and software, so again they’re stuffed.

  5. November 15th, 2016 at 11:03 | #5

    @JM
    LoRa PHY has been (partially) reverse-engineered -> http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/11/15/gr-lora-is-a-reverse-engineered-open-source-implementation-of-lora-phy/

    I guess Chinese vendors could attempt to create copies for their own market, but I’d assume exporting would probably be very risky for their customers due to legal reasons as you mentioned. However, if I understood the presentation correctly, the guy who reverse-engineered LoRa also reported that many of Semtech patents’ claims are lies.

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