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Cellular IoT Gateways Come in Three Flavors

Written by Eric Brown

Lantronix announced a “G520 Series” of Arm9-based cellular gateways, including G526 Industrial (LTE Cat 4), G527 and G528 Security (LTE Cat 13, 5G, crypto, PoE), and G528 Transport (LTE Cat 4, CAN) models.

Almost all the Lantronix products we cover at LinuxGizmos are Qualcomm based compute modules and dev kits based on the company’s acquisition of Intrinsyc. Yet, Lantronix is primarily known for its cellular and WiFi modules and gateways. Lantronix recently unveiled a G520 Series of cellular IoT gateways that continues that tradition. The company announced several models that share the same 131.5 x 81.27 x 25mm footprint and other basic features: the G526 Industrial Gateway, the G527 and G528 Security Gateways, and the G528 Transport Gateway.

G520 Series Gateway
(click image to enlarge)

The G520 Series offers a variety of cutting-edge wireless and I/O technologies, but is built around a lowly, unnamed ARM926EJ-S CPU clocked at 600MHz. That would be the old, single-core ARM9 platform that preceded the Cortex-A processors rather than the new Armv9 architecture that power the latest, high-end Cortex-X2 cores.

Rear view of G520 Series
(click image to enlarge)

Lantronix did not mention OS support, but this is clearly Linux territory. All the G520 modules ship with a custom SDK that allows users to create custom packages and build custom firmware images. There is a web-based UI with setup wizard, console log viewer, OTA, as well as failover and load balancing functions between cellular, WiFi, and LAN.

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The G520 Series comes with WiFi client and access point software with WEP, WPA, and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK security modes. There are also networking features including routing, VPN and tunneling, and security technologies.

The G520 Series is pre-loaded with the Lantronix ConsoleFlow cloud-based device management platform. ConsoleFlow provides a single console pane from which to manage remote assets. The systems are also pre-configured for Lantronix Connectivity Services, which provide North American and global cellular data plans and VPN security “with an easy-to-use cloud platform to manage SIMs and services.”

All the G520 gateways offer the same ARM926EJ-S CPU, 256MB DDR2, 256MB NAND, 8MB SPI flash, and a microSD slot. Other common features include 2x 10/100 Ethernet ports, which as a default are set up as LAN and WAN ports. The WAN port can be reconfigured as a second LAN port.

Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) is standard while Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and tri-band Wi-Fi 6E are optional. You also get Bluetooth 5.1, which like the WiFi radio is accompanied by an antenna connector. There are dual mini-SIM card holders for the various cellular options.

Other common features include single USB 2.0 and RS-232 ports and a terminal plug interface for RS-485, 2x GPIOs, and a digital input that can act as an ignition control. The system provides a watchdog, an RTC with battery, and 9x LEDs, including a user-programmable light. You also get a 3-axis accelerometer (STMicroelectronics LIS331DLH).

There is a 10.8-60VDC header input and a 3-mWh Li-ion battery for 100-second “last gasp” shutdown. The brushed aluminum alloy system weighs approximately 300 grams and has a -30 to 70°C operating range with up to 95% RH tolerance. Accessories include DIN-rail mounting, power supplies, cables, antennas, and regional cellular modules.

The G526 Industrial Gateway is designed for serial and fieldbus connectivity. It adds an LTE CAT 4 modem with 3G and, depending on the regional variant, 2G fallback modes. It also appears to offer Qualcomm IZat location services.

The G527 and G528 Security Gateways provide a Microchip ATECC608 cryptographic secure element along with Lantronix InfiniShield security software. Both models also offer PSE-PoE at 30W per port, which requires a U301 power supply accessory. The Security Gateways supplies a Qualcomm IZat location device with concurrent GPS and GLONASS.

The G527 Security model is “ideal for high throughput CCTV applications,” says Lantronix. It provides an LTE Cat 13 modem, which has 150Mbps upload frequency. Although Cat 13 typically offers 390Mbps download capability, this model provides Cat 7-like 300Mbps downloads. It also has a 3G fallback mode. The higher-end G528 Security Gateway SKU is equipped with a 5G Sub-6GHz modem with fallback modes for 3G and LTE Cat 13 uplink and Cat 20 downlink.

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The G528 Transport Gateway is equipped with an LTE Cat 4 modem, which offers a u-Blox M8 GNSS device instead of Qualcomm IZat. (All three models appear to offer GPS antenna mounts.) The Transport model adds a CANBus interface for telematics, as well as “other tracking features.” It is possible the CANBus feature uses the existing RS485, but is accompanied with CANBus reading firmware.

 Further information

No pricing information was provided for the G526 Industrial Gateway, the G527 Security Gatreway, and the G528 Security Gateway, which are available now. The G528 Transport Gateway will ship later this year.

More information may be found in G520 Series announcement and product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on February 4 2022.

Lantronix | www.lantronix.com

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Cellular IoT Gateways Come in Three Flavors

by Eric Brown time to read: 3 min