LimeNET Network-in-a-Box

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Jul 13 2017

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$2,399

LimeNET Mini

A high-performance mini PC with an integrated and shielded internal LimeSDR USB micro Type-B, U.FL cables, and antennas. This hardware is fully qualified for compatibility with the LimeNET Ubuntu app store. Save $400 off the post-campaign retail price of $2,599.


$319

LimeNET Gateway

A complete, certified, high-bandwidth cellular gateway that provides Wi-FI and Ethernet Internet connectivity backed by a connection to a 2G, 3G, or 4G macrocell. It provides users with downlink and uplink throughput of 150 and 50 Mbps, respectively, and can connect to any operator network with a SIM card (not included).


$21,250

LimeNET Base Station

This is a steeply discounted combination of the LimeNET Core + LimeNET Amplifier Chassis. This is all you need to set up your own cellular network!


$8,099

LimeNET Core

A top-of-the-line gaming PC with an integrated LimeSDR QPCIe board. As the name suggests, it is the core of the LimeNET Base Station, but you can also get it separately for desktop development or integration into your own system.


$13,999

LimeNET Amplifier Chassis

Amplifier Module for long range connectivity features: Set of two (MIMO): 10 W RF Output Power Amplifier + Duplexer + Antenna Your choice of frequency band (700 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.6 GHz, 3.5 GHz) Thick monolithic aluminum body

Details

A software-enabled network-in-a-box based on LimeSDR

As Featured In

eeNews Europe

"Over 3,600 developers are currently involved in efforts to create apps, called Snaps, for LimeSDR, with several free and paid-for apps having already appeared on the open community LimeSDR App store."

Light Reading logo

Light Reading

"By ‘open sourcing’ Lime Microsystems’ 5G and IoT capable SDR base station design, Lime and Canonical are looking to effectively ‘commoditise’ network hardware and shift the value centre towards software."

EE Times

"Commoditised base stations allow any enterprise to run their own base station and get spectrum from their operators as a service. Base stations can have new form factors as well, like being embedded into vending machines or attached to drones."

LinuxGizmos.com

"Lime Microsystems’ upcoming LimeNET Network-in-a-Box base station will support Ubuntu Core host systems. The open source micro base station is based on the Ubuntu Core ready LimeSDR SBC for software defined radio, which was a big hit on CrowdSupply..."

Electronics Weekly

"'Radio access technology for wide area networks accounts for a significant portion of the overall deployment cost,' said Lime CEO Ebrahim Bushehri. 'We’re seeking to make the hardware an open-source commodity sold for a fraction of current offerings...'"

everything RF

"LimeNET Mini - A software defined radio small cell network in a box for mobile and IoT applications, based on an Intel i7 processor and... LimeSDR. This combination makes it an ideal implementation for high data rate communication applications...”

Components in Electronics

"LimeNET base stations hold the potential to completely transform the way telco networks run, shifting the emphasis and value away from proprietary hardware to open hardware with app stores on top."

Microwave Journal

"The LimeNET Mini is an app enabled, small cell base station... It is ideal for developing residential SDR applications--like IoT. The more-powerful LimeNET version is for carrier-class wide area network deployments."

The Mobile Network

"With Lime Microsystems [EE] is delivering a software defined radio base to Open Source, and hopes to attract developers to build applications on top of the Lime SDR platform."

MWee

"[Limenet seeks] to make the hardware an open-source commodity sold for a fraction of current offerings, with the real value being in the software it runs. Doing it this way would effectively turn LTE, GSM or LoRa, or even 5G, into just an app.”

Total Telecom

"The three new platforms for developers, enterprise networks and carriers; uses among the most advanced radio technologies to dramatically cut the cost of wireless innovation, and change the way networks are developed."

TelecomTV

"Limenet is bringing open source software to cellular with the goal of commoditising the RAN."


Key Sponsors

Vodafone, a key global operator, is backing LimeNET and supporting us to take our software defined radio technology mainstream with operator deployments. Read the full update here.


Our mission is to democratise wireless innovation. Last year, we launched the LimeSDR campaign as the first step towards this goal. Now, we are launching LimeNET, a new campaign that offers the community a line of pre-qualified hardware with integrated LimeSDR technology. There are two main LimeNET hardware stacks: Mini and Base Station - both of them are pre-qualified to work with the recently announced Ubuntu App Stores, so you can easily find, share, and publish apps specifically written with LimeSDR technology in mind.

What’s New?

If you’ve been following the LimeSDR project, here’s a summary of what’s new in LimeNET:

  • Complete, qualified systems of LimeSDR + commodity hardware that will work with the Ubuntu app store:
  • A new, high-performance member of the LimeSDR family - the LimeSDR QPCIe board
  • A cellular backhaul connectivity gateway
  • Long-range power amplifier offered as part of LimeNET Base Station or on its own
  • If you already have a LimeSDR, you can put it to use as an external peripheral with LimeNET hardware
  • Out-of-the-box support for the HF band (LimeNET Mini only)

Read on for details!

Open Radio Stack

LimeNET extends LimeSDR’s open source software-defined radio ecosystem by offering an array of standard LimeSDR-based hardware configurations on which you can run Ubuntu Core to find, share, publish, and deploy pre-packaged applications (“snaps”). The idea is to replace specialized, closed equipment, software, and knowledge with open source software and commodity hardware. LimeNET is an open alternative to the incumbent, closed wireless model.

LimeNET Open Model Incumbent Closed Model
Chipset Readily available and open source software Closed and proprietary with vendor lock-in
Radio Hardware Readily available and open source Closed and highly specialised
Baseband & Digital General-purpose motherboards Proprietary ASICs
Software App-based with worldwide developer network Closed and expensive with vendor lock-in
Deployment & Maintenance Uses general IT skillset and commodity hardware Highly specialised and requires OEM support

What is LimeNET For?

LimeNET is the next step in the evolution of software defined radio. What you actually use it for is completely up to your imagination (and the imagination of thousands of other developers). Broadly speaking, LimeNET is a great option for any application that is a convergence of wireless technologies, such as:

  • IoT
  • Media streaming
  • Test & measurement
  • Cellular base stations

For example, at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, there was a demonstration of a complete 4G network running on a commodity laptop connected to a software-defined radio dongle (a LimeSDR!) streaming HD video to standard, off-the-shelf smart phones. Several aspects of this demo were unique:

  • Complete LTE stack and EPC was running on low-cost, high-volume equipment
  • The APIs and drivers for the radio were completely open source and available to developers worldwide
  • None of the software or hardware came from incumbent cellular suppliers

This is just one example. There are plenty of others involving HAM, radio astronomy, AM/FM, GNSS, and more.

Hardware Offerings

In this campaign, we’re offering the LimeNET Mini and LimeNET Base Station, and many of their constituent components.

LimeNET Mini

Complete with an integrated LimeSDR USB micro Type-B with added shielding, this mini PC will get you up and running with the LimeNET app store in no time.

LimeNET Mini

  • Mainboard
    • Form Factor: 105 x 110 mm
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-7500U, two cores, 2.7 GHz (3.5 GHz boost)
    • Memory: 32 GB (2 x 16 GB SO-DIMM) DDR4 2133 MHz
    • Storage: 512 GB SSD
    • Video
      • Intel HD Graphics 620
    • Mini DisplayPort 1.2: 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
    • HDMI 2.0: 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
    • Audio: Realtek ALC255
    • Connectivity
      • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
      • 1 x USB 3.1
      • 2 x USB 3.0
      • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
    • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth (tentatively Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168)
  • Power Supply
    • Power adaptor: 19 VDC input @ 3.42 A, 65 W
    • Cooling: single fan
  • Enclosure
    • Material: injection molded plastic and stainless steel
    • Dimensions: 11.2 x 12.0 x 5.2 cm (exclusive of antennas)
    • Partitions: top (black) holds mini PC, bottom (green) holds LimeSDR
  • Radio (Integrated)
    • Board: LimeSDR USB micro Type-B
    • Shielding: attached to LimeSDR
    • Antennas: five (of which one is dedicated for HF reception)
    • Cables: 5 x U.FL (internal and pre-installed)
    • Transmit Range: Approximately 15 meters for LTE
    • Power Amplifier: None
    • Filters: None

The LimeNET Mini comes pre-installed with the LimeSDR USB micro Type-B board and associated cabling and antennas.

LimeNET Mini ports layout

Left Right
1. USB 3.0 1. Risecard connector
2. LAN 2. USB 3.1 Type-C
3. Mini DisplayPort
4. HDMI 2.0
5. DC input
6. SATA cable connector
7. Microphone/headset
8. USB 3.1 Type-A
9. 30-pin debug connector
10. Power connector

LimeNET Base Station

The LimeNET Base Station is a limited-edition, highly discounted combination of the LimeNET Core and LimeNET Amplifier Chassis detailed below. This is everything you need to set up your own cellular network, all in one compact package and with a savings of over $7,000.

LimeNET Core

A top-of-the-line gaming PC outfitted with a newly developed LimeSDR PCIe board, the LimeNET Core is a software defined radio powerhouse.

LimeNET Core

  • Mainboard
    • Form factor: ASUS X99-M WS micro-ATX
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-6950X, 10 cores, 20 threads, 3 GHz (3.5 GHz boost), 25 MB smart cache
    • Memory: 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4 2133 MHz
    • Storage: 1 TB SATA 3 M.2 SSD
    • Video: GIGABYTE GV-N210SL-1GI graphics card with NVIDIA GeForce 210
    • Audio: 8-channel Crystal Sound 2 and 12,000-hour capacitors
    • Connectivity
      • 2 x USB 3.1
      • 4 x USB 3.0
      • 2 x USB 2.0
      • 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s
      • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
      • 3x3 802.11ac Wi-Fi
      • 1 x Bluetooth 4.0
  • Power supply
    • Internal PSU: Corsair CX750M, 750 W
    • Cooling: six fans
  • Enclosure
    • Material: coated aluminum
    • Dimensions: 26.5 x 27.0 x 26.0 cm
  • Radio (Internal)
    • Board: LimeSDR PCIe
    • Shielding: CNC-milled aluminum enclosure
    • Antennas: 4 x
    • Cables: 4 x U.FL (inside aluminum case)
    • Transmit Range: Approximately 15 meters for LTE
    • Power Amplifier: None, but compatible with LimeNET PA Module
    • Filters: None, but compatible with LimeNET PA Module

The following image shows the current internal components of the LimeNET Core. The exact make and model of the RAM and SSD components may change based on availability at the time of manufacture.

1. Intel Core i7 - 6950X Processor Extreme Edition
2. Crucial CT16G4DFD8213 64GB (4x 16GB) DDR4 2133 MHz
3. Pre-amp bracket: MIMO 15 db LNA, MIMO TX SAW filter, MIMO 20 db PA
4. GIGABYTE GV-N210SL-1GI graphics card with NVIDIA GeForce 210
5. Crucial MX300 SATA 3 internal 1 TB SSD w/ M.2 interface
6. Corsair CX750MW Power Supply Unit
7. LimeSDR PCIe board
8. ASUS X99-M WS micro-ATX mainboard

LimeNET Amplifier Chassis

Designed to mate perfectly with LimeNET Core, the LimeNET Amplifier Chassis provides the necessary hardware to turn your SDR setup into a long range wireless network.

  • Chassis
    • Material: thick, monolithic aluminum body
    • Dimensions: 42 x 29 x 25 cm (aluminum body only)
  • Amplifier
    • Set of two (MIMO) 10 W RF output power amplifier + duplexer + antenna
    • Choice of band: 700 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.6 GHz, 3.5 GHz

LimeSDR QPCIe

Whereas the LimeNET Mini is based on the original LimeSDR USB boards (micro Type-B and Type-A, respectively), and the LimeNET Core is based on the LimeSDR PCIe, the LimeNET Base Station is based on the entirely new LimeSDR QPCIe board. This new board is a much more sophisticated version of the original LimeSDR PCIe board. In particular, it has two LMS7002 transceiver chips instead of one, which allows for a 4x4 MIMO configuration instead of a 2x2 MIMO configration.

LimeNET QPCIe board (front side)

1. RF RX connectors 15. IC43 - EEPROM
2. J43, J42 - reference clock in and out 16. IC43 - FX3 flash boot jumper
3. LVDS interface 17. J28 - FPGA JTAG (0.1”)
4. IC40, J41 - GNSS receiver and antenna connector 18. SW2 - 4-bit switch
5. IC38 - FLASH memory 19. IC21, IC23 - FPGA configuration flash memory
6. J39, J38 - 2 x PMOD connectors 20. BATT1-RTC backup battery
7. LEDs 21. IC39 - temperature sensor
8. SW3 - power control switch 22. IC39 - temperature sensor
9. J44 - external 12 V power supply connector 23. RF RX connectors
10. J45 - 6-pin PCIe power connector 24. RF TX connectors
11. J31 - FX3 JTAG (0.05”) 25. RF PAs, switches, and connectors
12. IC34 - USB 3.0 controller (FX3) 26. IC1, IC4 - 2 x FPRF LMS7002M transceivers
13. J29 - USB 3.0 connector (micro Type-B) 27. RF TX connectors
14. IC35 - FX3 flash memory

LimeNET QPCIe board (back side)

1. IC49 - clock synthesizer
2. IC46 - phase detector
3. XO1-3 VCTXO
4. IC2, IC3, IC5, IC6-RF transceivers EEPROMs
5. IC42, real time clock

Note: While you can use the LimeSDR QPCIe board with other computers, LimeNET Base Station is the only complete systems we’ve tested and pre-qualified as part of the LimeNET ecosystem. Of course, we encourage developers to integrate LimeSDRs of all flavors into new hardware configurations, but our ability to support and maintain hardware configurations is currently limited to those in the LimeNET family.

LimeNET Gateway

LimeNET Gateway is a complete, certified, high-bandwidth cellular gateway that provides Wi-FI and Ethernet Internet connectivity backed by a connection to a 2G, 3G, or 4G macrocell. It provides users with downlink and uplink throughput of 150 and 50 Mbps, respectively, and can connect to any operator network with a SIM card (not included). Save $100 off the retail price.

  • Downlink: 150 Mbps
  • Uplink: 50 Mbps
  • Cellular connectivity: 2G, 3G, 4G
  • Dimensions: 190 x 120 x 30 mm
  • Weight: 400 g
  • Accessories: antennas (2), power adaptor, Ethernet cable

LimeNET Gateway Example

Software, Drivers, and App Store

LimeNET is built on a robust, community-driven software stack, including:

Check out our Ubuntu app stores for more information:

Shipping & Fulfillment

All LimeNET products have free worldwide shipping. Orders being shipped to the EU will ship from the UK. Orders being shipped outside of the EU will ship from Crowd Supply’s US-based fulfillment facility. The recipient is responsible for all import fees and duties. You can find out more about fulfillment in the Crowd Supply Guide.

Ask a Question

Have a question not answered in the description above or in the Updates?

Ask Lime Microsystems a Question or Browse the Crowd Supply Guide

Credits

Lime Microsystems

Working toward the democratization of wireless communication through an open source ideology.


Ebrahim Bushehri

Jessica Gillingham

Andrew Back

Zack Tamosevicius

Karolis Kiela

Ignas Skudrickas

Alex Gross

Jurij Francuzov

Lexi Hatziharalambous

Nayl Dsouza

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