In today’s electronics industry, particularly for industrial machine-to-machine (M2M) applications such as fleet and asset management systems, product cycles are short, typically 9 months to a year for each product upgrade cycle, with overall product life-span lasting up to 10 years. During this time, designers must continuously improve their products to meet emerging new technologies as well as address regional markets beyond the scope of their original design.
This creates design challenges, especially when upgrading the positioning and wireless modem components to cost-effectively address new market requirements such as extended GNSS support, as well as compatibility with multiple mobile network standards such as GSM, UMTS, CDMA and LTE.
To address these issues, when it comes to modules, u-blox adheres to a core "nested design" philosophy: maintain form factor and software continuity to allow customers to easily upgrade their products with each new generation of u-blox global positioning or wireless modules.
The key benefit is simple: customers do not need to keep changing their PCB designs whenever u-blox introduces an improved version of its GNSS and wireless module products. Simply drop in the next generation module on the existing PCB footprint and start testing!
Note that "layout-compatibility" is a superior solution to "pin-compatibility", as the latter infers that every modem must share the largest, most expensive package.
For a quick overview of u-blox' nested design and module roadmap philosophy, download the 2-page Nested Design flyer (PDF).
For more details download the whitepaper "u-blox' GNSS and wireless module philosophy" and the application notes "Nested Design for SARA 2G / LISA 3G modules" and "Reference Design for LEON / LISA-U1 / LISA-U2 modules".