STMicroelectronics has introduced a low-cost development kit that uses the STM32 microcontroller ecosystem for prototyping Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices with LoRa Wireless Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connections.
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LoRa enables long-range communication with several advantages over conventional cellular connections, including lower power and cost. Versatile features include multiple communication modes, accurate indoor and outdoor location awareness, and native AES-128 security. This competes with technology from SIGFOX and the new Weightless-P standard.
The new kit contains everything needed to build bi-directional end devices that comply with LoRaWAN version 1.0.1 and support class A and class C protocols. Devices can be activated using Over-The-Air Activation (OTAA) or Activation-By-Personalization (ABP). An application for LoRaWAN certification tests is included in the kit, and the I-CUBE-LRWAN LoRaWAN stack is available and posted at www.st.com/i-cube-lrwan.
Using the STM32 ecosystem provides development resources such as the STM32Cube tools and software packages containing sample code and Hardware Abstraction Layers (HALs). These allow porting to any of the almost 700 STM32 MCU variants that cover a wide range of performance, power, packages, and price points. Developers are also free to use familiar IDEs and ARM mbed online tools.