SegFault

SIM7000E

An IoT module with potential

October 30 , 2018

SIM7000E is a Cellular module which supports 2G as well as LTE CAT-M1 and LTE NB-IoT. In addition to a modem, the module integrates a GNSS receiver which allows it to find its position using GPS, Galileo, Beidou and Glonass. Unlike most other modules with similar features, however, it does not require a separate processor which allows smaller and cheaper devices.

Features

  • Modern LTE standard
  • 2G (GPRS/EDGE) fallback if LTE is not available
  • GNSS Receiver builtin
  • Wide supply voltage range for a direct lipo connection (3.0V - 4.3V)
  • Small size (24 x 24 x 2.6 mm)
  • 1mA in Sleep mode (ready to receive)
  • 9µA in Deepsleep (rtc wakeup)
  • 1.5 UARTS
  • I2C Master
  • 5 (9) GPIO
  • ADC
  • Easily solderable (Breakout boards are available)
  • 3MB Ram free for your own use (shared between data and code)
  • Firmware support for TCP/IP, HTTP, FTP, SSL, MQTT and more

Unlike most other cellular modules you can run your own software directly on the module and don't need a second external processor. This has multiple advantages:

  • Less used space
  • Lower cost
  • Lower energy usage
  • Less potential for errors (no need to parse AT commands)
  • Full TCP/IP Stack with support for concurrent connections
  • Fast processor (up to 1.3GHz)
  • Flash filesystem with > 10MB free space
  • Real-time OS including support for Queues, Semaphores, Threads and more

The biggest downside is the missing documentation. There is very sparse documentation about using dam modules and part of it is even wrong. Because I like to use the module in future projects, I started to gather information about creating and building such modules. You can find all my findings and usage examples in the GitHub repository I created.