The Importance of Form Factor (or, How to Make Your Life Easier) | Symmetry Blog
Different products come in different sizes. That's just a fact of life, but for engineers, this can make electronic components difficult to keep track of. Although we can't always choose how the components we work with are shaped and formed, we nevertheless appreciate it when they fit our application just right.
As Goldilocks would attest, it's difficult finding the right fit when trying out different products. Many times, it's a guessing game, with a lot of wasted time and effort in between. Engineers are quite familiar with this feeling, swap out different components with no end in sight. This process can especially be laborious for wireless applications, where new technologies are constantly being updated and new APIs may be confusing to work with.
While there may not be a uniform agreement among all manufacturers on the form factors of similar components, top manufacturers know how to make an engineer's job easier.
The Digi XBee3's form factor is well known to provide an advantage of space and simplicity, but perhaps a feature not thought of among engineers is the ability to swap out different versions of XBee3 to support completely different protocols.
Say you have an application that supports Wi-Fi, and you want to create a new version of this application that uses Bluetooth Mesh. Or Zigbee. Or even LTE Cellular.
With Digi's XBee3, it's as simple as plugging it in. The advantage of a module like XBee3 Cellular is that everything is already tested and certified. Little to no code changes would need to be made, since all XBee3 modules use the same pin outs and come from the same architecture. Low power consumption is a major focus with the XBee3, so you can assure that the modules are well suited for IoT applications.
Digi's new XBee3® Cellular LTE-M/NB-IoT
Digi XBee3® modules accelerate time to market for designers, OEMs and solution providers by quickly enabling wireless connectivity and easy-to-add functionality. Building on industry-leading technology, pre-certified Digi XBee3 modules offer the flexibility to switch between multiple frequencies and wireless protocols as needed.
Digi XBee3 modules are the latest addition to the expanding Digi XBee Ecosystem of wireless modules, gateways, software and development tools – all engineered to accelerate development and deployment. Ideal for low-data (typically <5 MB per month and where latency is not critical), low-power, low-cost applications, Digi XBee3 Cellular LTE-M/NB-IoT modules feature a power saving mode which extends sleep time and battery life.
With Digi Remote Manager®, Digi XBee3 modules can be easily configured and controlled from a simple, central platform. Built-in Digi TrustFence® security, identity and data privacy features use more than 175 controls to protect against new and evolving cyber threats. Standard Digi XBee API frames and AT commands, MicroPython and XCTU software tools simplify adding functionality, set-up, configuration and testing.
Looking to integrate Digi products with your design? Our Applications Engineers offer free design and technical help for your latest designs. Contact us today!
Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.