As 5G emerges on the market, where smartphones and coverage is becoming more and more common, there is the need to provide us, makers, with the necessary tools to start building some interesting projects with 5G, so that the potential (that we see already) can be expanded even further and its potential seen on our ideas. Besides leisure time, more options in this regard can help the industry too, by enabling us to solve those everyday problems where 5G seems like a perfect fit. Hence, here is another option to consider, a new industrial 5G / 4G shield developed by the company Akari, based in Japan.
So, what is there about this shield developed by Akari? Firstly, it is an expansion board compatible with multiple SBC’s, more specifically: Raspberry Pi (models Zero, 3 and 4), Rock Pi and Jetson Nano. You can choose from three different options: Mini PCI Express, where you can connect a 4G module (because 5G coverage is still very lagging behind in many regions of the globe) or Wi-Fi 6, LoRa, USB, to use an Intel Compute Stick or M.2, allowing you to connect a 5G module. Besides that, the shield includes a wide voltage range (9 to 24 V), helping the integration with industrial applications, provides an RTC (Real Time Clock) module for time-keeping, a staggering 15 kV of ESD protection, along with a built-in relay, digital inputs / outputs, RS232 / RS485 and RS422.
Looking into the features present in this industrial shield:
- Compatibile with Raspberry Pi Zero, 3 Model B and 4 Model B, Rock Pi and Jetson Nano (other boards may work, those are the ones listed on Kickstarter)
- 3 possible connector options: M.2 (5G), Mini PCIe (4G, LoRa, Wi-Fi 6) and USB (Intel Neural Compute Stick)
- Built-in relay module and digital input (with reserve dry and wet contacts)
- Digital input and output and internal headers
- Interfaces: RS485 / RS422 and RS232 serial ports
- RTC module available even when power is out
- Reset + power buttons and buzzer
- 15 kV ESD protection (with pending CE / FCC certification)
- Power: 9 to 24 V input and 5 A of maximum output current