Nordic just recently released modem firmware version 1.3.0 for the nRF9160. There were a few notable features. Here’s the biggest takeaways:
Unified modem firmware
From now on, or at least for the foreseeable future, there will be one version of the modem firmware for all cellular providers. This was something that they glossed over in one slide in Nordic’s presentation last week. I’d say it’s one of the most important “features” that they’ve implemented. No more worrying about what modem firmware to use with which carrier!
Implemented GPS improvements
Nordic has improved the acquisition of GPS signal quite a bit in this version of the modem firmware. This has been painful for all nRF9160 users as more GPS roaming time == less battery life.
I’m looking forward to testing this myself to see what I can get out my applications.
Various modem/LTE/NB improvements
These improvements like the ability to sync with the PSM wake up period, NB transfer speed, and more. They definitely have not been resting on their laurels.
Words of caution
While these new features are great in order to use 1.3.0 in a certified end application you’ll need to be using the yet to be released nRF Connect SDK 1.6.0. I’m sure we’ll be seeing this very soon since the modem firmware is already here!
Additionally, and this one is important, you should not upgrade to 1.3.0 and then downgrade to the 1.2.x or 1.1.x versions of the modem firmware. This will corrupt your device and render it unusable in some areas. I recommend that all owners of the nRF910 Feather continue using modem firmware 1.2.3. For certified Verizon applications only can be used 1.1.2.
In the future, once upgraded to the B1 silicon, the nRF9160 Feather will be able to handle v1.3.0 of the modem firmware and beyond.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!