Microchip Releases Tiny SAM R34/R35 LoRa SiPs and Development Kit

Microchip has been offering RN2483 & RN2903 LoRa modules for respectively 868 MHz and 915 MHz frequencies for several years, but the company has now announced SAM R34 and SAM R35 LoRa systems-in-package (SiP) that offer similar functionality in a much smaller form factor.

Both SiPs integrate a Microchip SAM L21 Arm Cortex-M0+ based MCU,a sub-GHz RF LoRa transceiver operating from 862 to 1020 MHz, and a software stack. That means you don’t need different SiP depending on the region, and the only difference between SAM R34 and SAM R35 is the latter does without a USB interface for lower cost.
Microchip SAM R34
Microchip SAM R34/R35 key features and specifications:

  • MCU – Arm Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz
  • System Memory – Up to 40 KB RAM including 8KB LP-RAM
  • Storage – Up to 256 KB Flash for application code and stack
  • Wireless Connectivity
    • 862 MHz to 1020 MHz coverage
    • Up to 20 dBm (100 mW) max power
    • Up to +13 dBm (20 mW) high-efficiency PA
    • Sensitivity
      • Down to -136 dBm (LoRaWAN protocol compliant modes)
      • Down to -148 dBm (proprietary narrowband modes)
    • Up to 168 dB maximum link budget
    • Low RX current of 17 mA (typical)
    • LoRa Technology, (G)FSK, (G)MSK and OOK Modulation
    • Automatic RF Sense and CAD with ultra-fast Automatic Frequency Control (AFC) Packet Engine up to 256 bytes with Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)
  • Peripherals
    • 1x full speed 12 Mbps USB (SAM R34 only)
    • Up to 5x serial communication interfaces (SERCOM) configurable as USART, I2C, SPI or LIN
    • 12-bit, 1 Msps Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with up to eight external channels
    • 2x analog comparators with window compare function
  • Package – 6×6 mm BGA package

Microchip SAM R34 Block Diagram

The SiPs come with Microchip LoRaWAN stack that supports Class A and Class C modes of operation, LoRaWAN 1.0.2 regional parameters, and multiple regions including US915, EU868, AS923, AU915, KR920, and IN865 bands.

To get started with evaluation and development the company also provides SAMR34 Xplained Pro (aka SAMR34 X-Pro) development board based on SAMR34, and supported by Atmel Studio IDE.

SAMR34 Xplained Pro
Click to Enlarge

SAMR34 Xplained Pro key features:

  • SiP – Microchip ATSAMR34J18B LoRa device with support for 862 – 1020 MHz frequency operation
  • Expansion – 2x extension headers for signal breakout and expansion boards
  • Debugging
    • On-board debugger (EDBG)
    • Auxiliary 10-Pin Cortex Programming Header
  • Misc
    • On-board power management system with current monitoring
      XPRO current measurement system data visualizer support
    • On-board TCXO for optimal performance at long range
    • SMA RF antenna port with external whip antenna included
    • Manual Reset button and GPIO button
    • Indicator LEDs for status and power
  • Certifications – FCC, ISED and RED

    You’ll find documentation on the board’s product page.

Microchip’s SAM R34/35 LoRa family is available in six variants, with 10k pricing starting at $3.76 for SAM R34 and $3.66 for SAM R35 SiP without a USB interface. SAM R34 Xplained Pro evaluation kit can be purchased for $99. More details can be found in the SiPs’ product page.

SAM R34 vs RN2903A
Image Source: Twitter

It get a better idea of the miniaturization achieved by Microchip, the photo above compares the new SAM R34 LoRa SiP (left) to the older RN2903A LoRa SiP (right).

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Very nice part!