u-blox XPLR-IOT-1 explorer kit is an all-in-one IoT evaluation platform with cellular IoT, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and GNSS, plus some sensors to evaluate various IoT products and enable proofs of concepts such as logistics container trackers, industrial automation, sensor-to-cloud applications, and fleet management solutions.
The device’s main module is the u-blox NORA-B106 with a dual-core Arm Cortex M33 microcontroller and Bluetooth LE 5.2 radio that host the application software and control the other modules, namely the SARA-R510S module for LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular connectivity, NINA-W156 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi module, and the MAX-M10S GNNS module. The XPLR-IOT-1 platform is also equipped with an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetometer, and temperature, humidity, pressure, and ambient light sensors.
- Main MCU – Nordic Semi nRF5340 dual-core Arm Cortex M33 @ 128/64 MHz with 512 + 64 kB RAM memory and 1024 + 256 kB flash (found in NORA-B106 module)
- Wireless connectivity
- Cellular IoT (LTE-M, and NB-IoT) via SARA-R510S module and embedded SIM and/or Nano-SIM socket
- 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 4 via NINA-W156 module
- Bluetooth 5.2 Low Energy via NORA-B106 module
- GNSS – MAX-M10S positioning module with support for BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS, and GPS
- Antenna for LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GNSS, NFC
- Communication with host system – UART over USB (micro USB port)
- Sensors – Temperature, humidity, pressure, ambient light, magnetometer, battery gauge, gyroscope, and accelerometer
- Expansion – Sparkfun Qwiic (I2C) connector
- SWD debug interface
- Current measurement jumpers on MAX-M10, NINA-W15, NORA-B1, SARA-R5, and the full system
- Power supply
- 5V via micro USB port
- 1.2Ah embedded battery
- Dimensions – 14 x 8 x 3 cm
The kit ships with the C210 development board housed in a plastic case, an embedded SIM with global roaming, a free 3-month MQTT Anywhere subscription, as well as application software examples with source code, including a Thingstream data flow example and a Node-RED dashboard example. u-blox also highlights the ubxlib library hosted on Github with software examples for key use cases.
There’s already plenty of documentation on the product page, and the XPLR-IOT-1 is an open-source hardware platform with all hardware design files, software, smartphone app, and online dashboard source code, meaning it could also serve as the base for commercial product design and development. The Altium source for schematics and PCB, PDF schematic, layout output in Gerber format, PCB 3D STEP model, and other assembly outputs (drill, pick and place, etc) can be found on Github as well, sadly in a single ZIP file (please don’t do that with a revision control system!).
The XPLR-IOT-1 explorer kit will be sold exclusively on Digi-Key for $361.25, but is currently out of stock.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.