LoRa modules are among the essential technologies needed in the internet fraternity.
The 2022 top 10 major LoRa manufacturers are Multi-Tech Systems, Microchip Technology, Link Labs, Dapu Telecom Technology, IMST GmbH, Embit, Libelium, HOPE MicroElectronics, Manthink, and Murata.
Are you confused about which module manufacturer to go with? This article will highlight the best LoRa module manufacturers and why they deserve to be on this list.
What is a LoRa Module
Long Range (LoRa) module is a tangible proprietary radio communication method founded on spread spectrum modulations acquired from a chirp spread spectrum technology. The module receives software support from Long Range Wireless Area Network (LoRaWAN), which defines the system architecture and software communication protocol. It enables data communication over long distances while using low power.
Uses of the LoRa Module
The LoRa and LoRaWAN are intertwined to create a Low Power-Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol to wirelessly connect internet-enabled gadgets in the regional, national, global networks or LoRaWAN private network. They, therefore, target crucial Internet of Things (IoT) requirements like end-to-end security, bi-directional communication, mobility, and localization services.
When connected to a LoRaWAN network, LoRaWAN gateway with LoRa chipsets accommodate a wide range of IoT applications by transmitting packets with essential data. This is because it is flexible for rural or indoor use cases like smart agriculture and homes, respectively.
With the IoT vertical applications increasing, the LoRa and LoRaWAN technologies are developing business efficiencies and improving lives globally.
How to Differentiate a Good or Bad LoRa Module
There are three best practices that you should use to get to the bottom of this. They include:
The Range/ Distance
Depending on your personal or business application, distance is essential when installing the LoRa modules. Some modules can handle between 2 km to 10 km. A sound module should, with this, be able to give you long-distance radio signals with a good reception service. For more details, check the post: LoraWAN Gateways: How Far Can They Transmit?
Data Transmission Speed
A good LoRa module must have a high data transmission rate. However, depending on the spreading factor and the communication channel bandwidth, the data transfer speed varies from 300 bps to 37.5 kbps. An excellent module is, therefore, fast in data transmission regardless of the distance the signal covers.
This is integral to differentiating the best modules based on how they consume electricity. Of course, a good module will have the lowest consumption, while a bad one will have the highest. Less energy consumption means the chips do not retain too much heat, prolonging their lifespan.
Companies that make the LoRa Modules
Multiple companies have created the LoRa Alliance to collaborate and share experiences to drive and promote LoRaWAN success standards. It is the first open global standard for secure carrier-grade IoT LPWAN connectivity. Through the LoRa Alliance, different companies work together in the software and hardware fields to perfect the technology.
Some of the companies that are fully immersed in the development of the best LoRa module include:
Though SmartWave Technologies recently acquired the company, the company was founded in 1970. It has over 250 employees and specializes in the installation, supply, and commissioning of Telecommunications Systems, inventory handling, and the supply of trained workforce to industries globally (Revenue:$65M).
The company is credited because it has over 24 years of experience, global business partnerships, an experienced workforce, and logistics. Additionally, Multi-tech Systems develop LoRaWAN, CBRS, and Private LTE products and cellular for IoT. They also offer gateways, routers and modems, embedded M2M modems, and sensor solutions.
The company was founded in 1987 and became a supplier of programmable digital signal processors, non-volatile memory, card chip on board, microcontrollers, and consumer integrated circuits. As of 2021, the company has 19,500 employees and leads in providing smart, connected, and secure embedded control solutions (Revenue:$8B). It also offers low-risk product development.
Microchip Technology enables low total system costs and fast time to market for thousands of different applications for industrial, consumer, communications, automotive, computing, aerospace, and defense markets. They have over 15 product solutions that they offer their customers.
A group of veteran engineers founded the company in 2014. It started by giving solutions to the hospitality fraternity but slowly diversified into other industries like manufacturing, construction, warehousing, logistics, and healthcare. The company emphasizes offering businesses an affordable tailored solution (Revenue:$5M).
It has over 40 employees and offers three unique products. The first product is AirFinder Onsite, used for inventory management, equipment monitoring, and loss prevention. The next one is AirFinder Everywhere, which can improve inventory management, compliance, loss prevention, and process efficiency.
The Symphony link is the final product. It has a decentralized architecture that makes it capable of processing data locally, and its Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) secure transmitted data. This capability makes it possible to patch security issues internally without human intervention.
Dapu Telecom Technology
Founded in 2005, the company is one of the leading manufacturers of timing and radio-frequency solutions. It employs nearly 1,000 people, and its logistics encompass 19 global locations and 12 countries. The company portfolio includes embedded circulators, GPS time servers, voltage-controlled crystal oscillators, and lower power circulators, among other examples (Revenue:$19M).
Popular products offered by the company include the T75 temperature-compensated crystal oscillator that embodies a current operating range of 1mA to 15mA while producing minimal sounds.
The DP3000 is another product that is a high-performance Grandmaster time server. It is IEEE1588V2 compliant and uses GNSS timing satellite signal as the primary time reference. The product is user-friendly and excellent for wireless ethernet backhaul and cellular applications.
Last is the V754 crystal oscillator which produces minimal noise when in operation and has a tuning range of 60 ppm to 200 ppm. Moreover, the CM65 is a standout clock module for an atomic clock that supports several input clocks. It is mainly used in 5G base stations, general timing products, and digital video broadcast setups.
The company was founded in 1992 and currently employs 145 employees in the research, development, testing, and product areas. The company boasts of developing high-frequency circuits, communication systems, and wireless modules. They offer prototypes of localization and positioning systems rooted in ultra-wideband technology by designing and producing hybrid and fully integrated circuits for customers (Revenue:$27M).
Their products are majorly based on ISM Band Solutions, reference customers, LoRa, and Wireless M-Bus.
The company came into existence in 2004 as a bridge between academic research and local industries. With 25 employees, it assists customers throughout the embedded system design and ad-hoc wireless solution development from the feasibility study to the early stages of mass production. Embit designs and produces cost-effective, high-performance radio modules and electronic devices used in several wireless scenarios (Revenue:$5M).
Their skill and expertise are spread over industrial, healthcare, consumer, and logistic markets. Embit products have a particular accent on radio-frequency technologies that operate ISM bands and metering bands.
2006 saw the rise of the Libelium company, which designs and manufactures hardware and a complete System Diagnostic Kit (SDK) for wireless sensor networks. They do this so that engineering, system integrators, and consultancy companies can deliver reliable M2M, IoT, and Smart Cities solutions with the least time to market. They have over 2,000 developers and, in 2017, launched the Libelium Cloud (Revenue:$14M).
The cloud cements the company’s move to a complete IoT solution provider by enabling the three pillars of any IoT project: software, hardware, and connectivity. Other products Libelium offers its consumers are Waspmote and Meshlium, which have been used in applications like water quality, traffic congestion, and environmental monitoring.
The company was established in 1998. It specializes in manufacturing GPS, digital sensors, and RF wireless communication modules. It is also engaged in research, development, power production chips, and high voltage devices used in various products like automotive electronics, LED lighting, industrial automation, and power metering (Revenue:$95M).
They have over 400 employees, and their products are user-friendly and reliable. Given their diversity, they have numerous products one can drool over.
It is one of the earliest LoRa Alliance members and focused on LoRa technology in 2013. It employs 11 to 20 people and delights in helping users create their personal LPWAN based on LoRa or LoRaWAN. The company products provide communication chain-based LPWAN technology, which includes Network Server (NS), sensor, Multi-Application Platform (MAP), module, gateway, Network Management System (NMS), and DTU (Revenue:$5M).
Manthink also supports developers in developing their applications based on DTU or modules, which are assimilated to IoT OS and EdgeBus, an edge-computing frame. Developers, therefore, shorten the period of the product from R&D to market.
The company offers over 50 products based on LoRa or LoRaWAN for different LPWAN scenarios. This accounts for over 3,000,000 products running smoothly worldwide.
With 75,184 employees and a revenue of $26.3B, it focuses on manufacturing ceramic passive electronic components, primarily capacitors. Murata advanced to RFs and semiconductors after acquiring RF monolithic and Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation, respectively.
It now produces electronic products used in communication, power supplies, and wireless modules.
Moreover, the company also manufactures RF filters and lumped components based on different processing technologies. It, therefore, has a wide range of products to choose from.
Best LoRa Module to Use
The best module depends on the application you want the LoRa Module to undertake. For instance, consider whether it is for personal or home use and perhaps business or industrial deployment. Having this information will assist you in narrowing down the right modules with the perfect requirements for your project.