New Boron 404X Questions

@rickkas7 This morning, like every morning lately it seems, I am in the wholesale store and online trying to figure out a way to mitigate not being able to buy the BRN404. This morning, I found an interesting note attached to the BRN404 Learn More popup.

Disclaimer : This hardware SKU will be discontinued due to lack of availability of critical components driven by the ongoing global silicon shortage crisis, with a last request to buy date on June 30, 2022.

Buyers of this impacted SKU will migrate to our new Supply Secure Boron 404X development kit , available in unrestricted volumes for purchase from August 2022.

This migration will require minimal hardware and firmware changes, as this new SKU is API, footprint and electrically compatible with the BRN404 SKU

I have no idea when this showed up. What I am wondering, is that for those of us in the middle of a product launch, who cant find the BRN404, how much lead time is Particle going to give us to prepare for this minimal hardware and firmware change? When will information be released or has it been and I have failed to locate it?

Since I am going to be turning customers away in the very near future, I would at least like to use the next 5 months to prepare to hit the ground running when the Boron 404X arrives.

Thanks very much.

The B404X is a replacement for the B404, caused by the discontinuation of the SARA-R410 cellular modem module on the B404 by u-blox. The B404X has a SARA-R510.

The pin functions on the M.2 connector are identical.

The only software change is using the minimum Device OS version with R510 support: Device OS 2.3.0 LTS (or later) or 3.2.0 (or later).

@rickkas7 Thank you very much for the reply and the good news.

@rickkas7 You say the pin functions for the M.2 connector are identical, will this be the same for the standard Boron dev board with male pins as well? PN BRN404x as opposed to the B404x.

This also applies to the Boron BRN404X; the pinouts are unchanged, the Device OS requirements are the same, and the reasons are the same.

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Thanks, @rickkas7 I thought that might be the case, but wanted some confirmation instead of making that assumption.

Will the BRN404x have a different FCC certification number with it? From what I can tell the BRN402 and BRN404 share the same FCC number, will the BRN404x share the same as as BRN402 /BRN404 (FCC ID: 2AEMI-BRN402) or will it require different certifications?

Also, when do you anticipate the “first ship” date to be of BRN404Xs development kits? When you say: “unrestricted volumes for purchase from August 2022.” Is that assuming it would be near immediate shipment and the allocation is all due to the SARA-R410 and once we migrate to the SARA-R510 Boron’s would no longer be on allocation?

When would purchasing in Trays be available instead of the development kits?

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Unfortunately the B404X and BRN404X will probably require recertification. The transition from the BRN402 to BRN404 was a SIM change, which is a permissible change, but the transition from the SARA-R410 to SARA-R510 will change our certification, which will probably require recertification of your end device.

The BRN404X early access is estimated to start June 2022. This is intended for customers at scale who will need to switch quickly in order to be able to receive a large enough quantity of devices.

There will be a period where both the BRN404X will be available for new designs, and there are still some BRN404 available in limited quantities. Eventually the BRN404 will become unavailable and only the BRN404X will be available.

The tray availability date has not been set, but the intention is to have the devices available in sufficient quantities to offer both trays and single units.

Assuming we are able to receive sufficient quantities of all of the components, the hope is to have normal unrestricted availability of all of the Supply Secure SKUs.

@rickkas7 So, to be clear-is Particle undertaking certification or is that entirely up to the end user? This is not good news at all

We will take care of the certification of the Particle module as is normally the case.

If you have undergone additional certifications of your completed assembly, it may be necessary to do so again with the new module. For example, FCC unintentional radiator.

It’s not ideal, but there’s not much that can be done since the R410 modem module is now end-of-life. We’ve pretty much bought all of the R410 stock available to provide enough runway to make the transition.

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Noted, thanks for the explanation

@rickkas7 Looking at the datasheet/#country-compatibility I have read
United States BRN404X M1 AT&T

Using BRN402 and BRN404 side by side on my desktop, running the exact same firmware, the 404 outperforms the 402 for cellular connectivity, at least in my neck of the woods. I do not even have to look at the serial number of the boron to identify which one it is, only if it is blinking green instead of breathing cyan.

Is the document suggesting that the new 404X will only support AT&T? I sure hope not

Thank you

The BRN404X and BRN404 can work on either AT&T or T-Mobile in the United States.

The reason we don’t list T-Mobile for LTE Cat M1 devices is that T-Mobile does not officially support LTE Cat M1! T-Mobile only officially supports LTE Cat NB1, which is not supported on Particle devices. However, T-Mobile quietly rolled out LTE Cat M1 and in areas that have it, it works great.

The BRN402 does not support T-Mobile, and will only ever connect to AT&T.

Noted, Just glad to hear that it will support both carriers (as I sit watching a blinking green led waiting for a connection)

Any chance the modem change to SARA-R510 opens up the door to Verizon connectivity? :rofl: A guy can hope right! haha. :slight_smile:

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@rickkas7. Will’s briefing note states that the BRN404X will support EtherSIM ‘powered by 3650 cellular carriers worldwide”. Does this literally mean that users outside of North America will be able to use BRN404X or is this dependent on certification in each country?

That’s the total number of carriers supported by EtherSIM, not all of the carriers supported by the BRN404X.

However, we will be opening up the BRN404X/B404X to additional countries this year, and two obvious choices are Australia and New Zealand.

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How long will the existing products be supported?
All products deprecated from a GA lifecycle state as a result of the silicon shortage will still be fully supported according to our product lifecycle policy for 3 years, through April 30 2025.

In the FAQ, what exactly does this mean? Does this mean that we can no longer use the old devices after April 2025?

Typically this means new firmware may not be compatible with it, but like the xenon, if it’s still working then you can still use it.

Thanks, good to know. Now to wait until I can get ahold of those BRN404X.

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