u-blox NINA-B4 Bluetooth Low Energy Module
Geared for harsh professional environments
The main highlight of the NINA-B4 series is Bluetooth’s new direction finding feature, a key component of the Bluetooth v5.1 specification that brings the benefits of high precision positioning to indoor applications. NINA-B4 is the first u‑blox module designed to act as both a transmitter and a receiver in angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD) direction finding and indoor positioning applications.
In AoA-based implementations, stationary beacons equipped with multi-antenna arrays determine the angle of arrival of signals emitted by a tracking device to pinpoint the tracker’s location with sub-meter level accuracy. When AoD is used, the tracking device triangulates its position by calculating the angle of departure of signals from the stationary Bluetooth beacons’ multi-antenna arrays.
Mesh, long range, and extended temperature range
The u‑blox NINA-B4 enables wireless mesh networks, which offer robust communication between large numbers of connected devices, extending the reach of messages by relaying them from node to node until they reach their destination. By simplifying the control of groups of devices, mesh networks are well suited for applications such as smart lighting systems in cities and buildings, which further benefit from the module’s enhanced operating temperature range (up to 105 °C).
Featuring Bluetooth long range, the NINA-B4 series is ideal for deployments in harsh environments, e.g. to enable wirelessly connected and configurable equipment. Long range not only increases the distance that Bluetooth signals can travel in undisturbed environments, it also makes communications more robust and reliable in unfavorable ones, common in production plants or on factory floors.
The NINA-B4 series comes with the u‑blox u‑connect software, simplifying the integration of Bluetooth into new and existing products by providing an easy-to-use interface to configure the connectivity required.
NINA-B4 further stands out for its powerful Arm® Cortex®-M4F MCU with an open CPU architecture, allowing customers to run their own applications right on the module. Supporting Zigbee and Thread, the first members of the NINA-B4 family come with an internal PCB antenna, or alternatively, with a U.FL connector for an external antenna of choice.
- Bluetooth 5.1, Bluetooth mesh, Thread, and Zigbee
- Direction finding support for indoor location
- Extended temperature range up to 105 °C
- Pin compatible with other NINA modules
- Global certification
- Pre-flashed with u-connect software for fastest time to market
- Superior security functionality
- Open CPU
- Powerful MCU for customized applications
- Arm® Cortex®-M4 with FPU, 512 kB flash and 128 kB RAM
- Zigbee and Thread
NINA-B4 series includes multiple variants to suit different applications
10 x 15 x 2.2 mm
|Customer applications through open CPU||U.FL antenna connector||7 external antennas|
10 x 15 x 2.2 mm
|Customer applications through open CPU||Internal antenna||PCB (internal)|
10 x 15 x 2.2 mm
|u-connect software||U.FL antenna connector||7 external antennas|
10 x 15 x 2.2 mm
|u-connect software||Internal antenna||PCB (internal)|
Adding Value to the End Product
|u-connect software ||Development |
NINA-B4 Specification Overview
|Additional wireless standards||NFC-A tag |
802.15.4 (NINA-B40, only)
Nordic proprietary radio mode (NINA-B40, only)
|MCU||Cortex-M4 at 64 MHz, DSP, Floating point unit, RTC|
|Memory||512 MB Flash, 128 kB RAM|
|Max TX output power |
|+8 dBm |
-94 dBm (1 Mbit/s modulation)
-100 dBm (125 Kbit/s modulation)
|Interfaces, u-connect software (NINA-B41)||UART, GPIO (28)|
|Interfaces, HW support (NINA-B40)||UART, USB, SPI, I2C, I2S, QDEC, PDM, PWM, ADC, GPIO (40)|
|Power supply||VCC & VCC_VIO 1.7 to 3.6 VDC|
|Power consumption||Active TX: 6.0 mA (0 dBm) |
Active RX: 6.0 mA
Stand-by: 1.3 uA
Sleep: 600 nA (no clocks running, no RAM retension)
|Operating temperature||-40 °C to +105 °C|
|Dimensions||10.0 × 15.0 × 2.2 mm|
|Packaging||Tape & Reel|
NINA-B40 Block Diagram
NINA-B4 Product Grades
EVK-NINA-B4 Evaluation Kit
For NINA-B4 stand-alone modules with Bluetooth 5.1 low energy long range, NFC, and Thread/Zigbee
- Compatible with Arduino® Uno shields
- Either u‑blox connectivity software or an open CPU with SDK
- All the NINA‑B4 module pins are available at connectors
- Can be powered through USB, external power supply, or coin cell battery
- Has an onboard debugger hardware and firmware
The EVK‑NINA‑B4 evaluation kit serves as a complete starter kit that allows for easy prototyping using either u‑connect software or an open CPU device where the application is developed using the chipset supplier's SDK. The EVK‑NINA‑B4 can be used as a reference design for the NINA‑B4 series Bluetooth low energy modules thus enabling faster hardware development and shorter time to market. The evaluation board is equipped with Arduino sockets that enables use of numerous shields for quick prototyping of different use cases.
The EVK‑NINA‑B4 evaluation kit includes an evaluation board, an external antenna for Bluetooth (EVK‑NINA‑B400 and EVK‑NINA‑B410 only) as well as an NFC antenna.
EVK‑NINA‑B410 and EVK‑NINA‑B416 are pre-flashed with the u‑connectXpress software for easy configuration using AT commands from a host system.
EVK-NINA-B4 Product Variants
|EVK-NINA-B400||EVK for NINA-B400 with open CPU, stand-alone Bluetooth low energy, U.FL antenna connector and USB|
|EVK-NINA-B406||EVK for NINA-B406 with open CPU, stand-alone Bluetooth low energy, internal PCB antenna and USB|
|EVK-NINA-B410||EVK for NINA-B410 with u-connect software, stand-alone Bluetooth low energy, U.FL antenna connector and USB|
|EVK-NINA-B416||EVK for NINA-B416 with u-connect software, stand-alone Bluetooth low energy, internal PCB antenna and USB|