Gen3 SOM - give us some hints?

The SOM versions were announced in October from what I can tell. Not much info since then. Can anyone give some hints as to what’s coming? I know it will have an M.2 connector, but that’s about it. I’m prototyping with the Boron LTE module now, and would love to know what to start planning for. i.e. Which additional pins might be exposed? What does the SOM lack that the development board has, etc.

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Have you seen this?
https://docs.particle.io/datasheets/cellular/b-series-datasheet/

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Thank you! No, I had not seen that. I had searched the forum, but didn’t realize the datasheet was posted.

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The datasheet is interesting for sure. It looks like the B2 will lack several things the Boron has, like fuel gauge. Might be reading that wrong though. I was disappointed to see that a SIM slot is not part of the module. I don’t see how to add a third party SIM to this. I see SIM pins exposed, but they appear to be wired to the internal SIM?

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The PMIC and Fuel Gauge are left off intentionally to allow for different battery chemistries and devices that don’t need a charger (external power or disposable batteries). Also for applications like solar there are better PMICs that the bq24195 so it made sense to leave it off.

3rd-party SIM cards are not supported for the B Series SoM B402 (LTE). There’s a MFF2 SMD Particle SIM on the SoM. That being said, the SIM pins are brought out to the M.2 connector. The problem is that you need to make a modification to the SoM to disable the MFF2 SIM. This is possible, but not supported, and not practical at scale.

That’s very disappointing and will prevent me from using the SoM. I moved my development to Particle from Pycom because of the more robust LTE support. But my customers are in areas within the US that simply do not have coverage from AT&T. I need to be able to provide alternative options for my customers.

I’m also pondering the other implications of this, since using the B Series module requires the Particle SIM, it locks us into Particle’s network and cloud, and of course its price. I like Particle hardware, but honestly, not the cloud. I understand that I am not the customer you are targeting. Though I can’t really imagine how many companies with thousands of customers would not build their own carrier network and cloud.

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For big customers where one of many locations require a 3rd party SIM for coverage, to get and keep the contract, that missing SIM slot/interface kills it for the company I am working for.

On the + side regulation will likely set the SIM chips free in a few years.

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