Lime Micro Unveils the LimeNET Micro 2.0, a Raspberry Pi CM4-Powered LimeSDR XTRX Radio Powerhouse

Featuring a more powerful Compute Module and multiple input multiple output (MIMO) radio module, the LimeNET Micro 2.0 is a major upgrade.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month ago β€’ HW101 / Communication

Lime Microsystems is preparing to launch the LimeNET Micro 2.0, a modular open source platform for software-defined radio (SDR) projects powered by a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and the new LimeSDR XTRX.

"LimeNET Micro 2.0 is a modular radio platform that leverages the Raspberry Pi [Compute Module 4] and LimeSDR XTRX for their respective computing and RF [radio-frequency] features," the company says of the new board. "It is significantly more versatile than the previous version of LimeNET Micro, which was limited by a slower (CM3) compute module and an integrated SISO [Single Input Single Output] radio. LimeNET Micro 2.0 is an ideal tool for a wide range of wireless applications ranging from experimental deployments to real-world enterprise installations."

The modular board is designed to host two core components. The first is the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, a system-on-module (SOM) based on the same core as the popular Raspberry Pi 4 Model B single-board computer (SBC). Next to this sits the LimeSDR XTRX, a rebooted and upgraded software-defined radio module designed as a successor to the Fairwaves XTRX.

Elsewhere on the board are two USB Type-A connectors, gigabit Ethernet with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support, two HDMI 2.0 ports supporting up to 4k60 video output, MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI) and Camera Serial Interface (CSI) connectors, a microSD slot for storage, a nano-SIM socket for cellular authentication, and a 20-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header β€” plus no fewer than seven co-axial connectors for the radio side of things.

"The new frontend module (FEM) provides higher output power using Qorvo drivers and amplifiers for a more comprehensive coverage range while keeping the frequency flexibility of the original LimeNET Micro," the company claims of the new design. "It also features low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and SPDT switches that provide for both FDD and TDD modes of operation."

According to Lime Micro, the redesigned board is also at the heart of the next-generation 5G network-in-a-box it co-developed with Vodafone, which theoretically means an upgrade path to the more powerful Raspberry Pi 5 could be available in the future β€” though this is as-yet unconfirmed.

The LimeNET Micro 2.0 is due to launch on Crowd Supply in the near future, at an as-yet unconfirmed price point; interested parties can sign up on the campaign page to be notified when it goes live.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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