RF modules have become quite popular due to the rapid growth of IOT across wide range of applications in Industrial, Consumer, Automotive, Healthcare, Smart Retail, Educational, and Agriculture etc.
An RF module, i.e., Radio Frequency Module is a small electronic device which combines devices, software and services that simplifies IoT and accelerates the digital transformation. It is essentially an embedded system which is used to communicate with another device wirelessly.
The RF modules are usually small in size and can be used as a standard component as it comes with proven hardware and software stack. It helps the IOT product designers to accelerate their designs without worrying about the complexity of the RF design and testing. RF modules can be interfaced with system controller through standard serial interfaces like UART, SPI or SDIO depending on the data rate and complexity of the system design.
Performance specifications for RF modules include sensitivity, output power, communication interface, operating frequency, measurement resolution, and maximum transmission distance or range.
Some factors which should be considered while attempting to achieve the optimal range for RF applications are:
• Antenna and Cable Selection
• Antenna Height
The range and coverage also greatly depend on the line-of-sight access, physical obstacles, environmental factors etc.
The most common RF modules comes with a defined protocol for RF communications such as Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi, LoRa, Zigbee or they may implement a proprietary protocol.