Didn’t ipXchange already cover the latest LoRa + Bluetooth LE module from RAKwireless? Yes, and you can see that interview from Embedded World right here. But during our investigations, a third RAKwireless product kept turning up alongside the new LoRa + Bluetooth LE RAK11720 module and the older, loRa-only RAK3172 module:
The slightly larger RAK4630 LoRa + Bluetooth LE module boasts the same Semtech SX1262 LoRa transceiver as the RAK11720 and is supported by the same RUI3 API that flattens the learning curve for engineers already using RAKwireless devices in their design.
So why bother writing about an older, larger, more expensive product with a higher current consumption in deep sleep mode? The first reason would be to notify RAK4630 users that there is a new device that they might want to try out to shrink their design and lower their B-O-M cost, but after digging a little deeper into the datasheets, ipXchange may have found a possible significant advantage to this older module:
The RAK4630 features a USB interface, at the sacrifice of a couple of analogue inputs that a designer may want to use on the RAK11720. There is also a TCXO crystal for the LoRa chip, which may prove useful for more reliable operation in environments where the temperature is unstable, as well as a CC310 chip for hardware-accelerated cryptography.
Aside from that, the RAK4630 and RAK11720 modules contain different in-built Bluetooth SoCs, but both are based on an Arm Cortex-M4F processor, with the one in the RAK11720 supported by slightly more RAM.
Overall, we at ipXchange would support the RAK11720 as the connectivity device of choice, but you can learn more about the RAK4630 in the link to our board page, where you can compare it to the RAK11720 and also apply to evaluate the technology for use in a commercial application.