Nordic Semi Unveils the New nRF9151, a System-in-Package for Power-Efficient Cellular Projects

New SIP chip includes a 64MHz Arm Cortex-M33, LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular, and DECT NR+ connectivity — in a one-fifth footprint reduction.

Nordic Semiconductor has announced a new entry to its nRF91 family with the nRF9151 system-in-package (SiP), combining a system-on-chip (SoC) with power management and a radio frequency front end (RFE) for cellular connectivity — and with a 20 percent footprint reduction, the company claims, making it suitable for wearables, sensors, and other compact projects.

"Our decision to develop the nRF9151 stems from a deep understanding of market demands and the need for solutions that seamlessly address the challenges faced by our customers," claims Nordic's Kjetil Holstad of the company's latest design. "With the nRF9151, we aim to fill a crucial gap in the market, streamlining the development process, and reducing both power consumption and footprint. This strategic addition to our cellular IoT portfolio confirms our dedication to providing cutting-edge cellular IoT solutions and our continuous drive to stay ahead."

The nRF9151 is, Nordic says, entirely software-and-tools compatible with its existing nRF9161 and nRF9131 parts, down to using the same modem firmware. Compared to the earlier nRF9161, the part delivers new support for Power Class 5 20dBm operation on top of Power Class 3 23dBM support and a 20 percent reduction in footprint — making it better-suited, the company says, to the needs of power-and-space constrained designs like wearables.

The part offers support for 3GPP Release 14 LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity, as well as support for DECT NR+ — a relatively new technology from the DECT Forum that takes the core of 5G connectivity and uses it for non-cellular local wireless connectivity in the 1.9GHz spectrum, offering low-latency high-reliability connections and support for massive mesh networks.

Outside the radio hardware, the nRF9151 includes a single 64MHz Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller core, 256kB of static RAM (SRAM), and 1MB of on-board flash memory. There's support for Arm's TrustZone security technology alongside CryptoCell — an embedded security system, which targets power-and-area constrained designs, delivering cryptographic acceleration and a true random number generator (TRNG).

The nRF9151 is sampling now, Nordic has confirmed, with no word yet on pricing or general availability. More information is available on the Nordic website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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