CF3®: Enabling flexibility to migrate between technologies and future-proof product designs.

Common across product generations
Flexible to support any wireless technology
Form that scales between module families
Factor with defined footprints and pin-outs

Since launching the first cellular embedded module in 1997, we've learned three things that matter most to our customers:

1. Compact size is required for many new IoT applications
2. Common footprints and consistent software interfaces simplify migration between technologies
3. Connectorized and solder-down options help scale manufacturing

No matter what wireless technology you start with (2G, 3G, 4G, LPWA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), your CF3® investment is protected, lowering your total cost of ownership and giving you more variation possibilities in future product designs.


CF3® Size

Sierra Wireless - CF3 Size

Module sizes enable new applications for IoT

The CF3® standard defines 5 rings to support form factors varying from extra-small 9.5mm x 11.5mm to extra-large 40mm x 40mm. The different sizes enable modules to further integrate various technologies on a single design and provide flexibility for supporting any number of cellular bands and frequencies.

The smaller size options are ideal for wearables and sensor applications using LPWA, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technologies. The larger sizes are ideal for more complex automotive modules with additional feature and band requirements.


CF3® Footprint

Sierra Wireless - CF3 Footprint

Common footprints and consistent software interfaces simplify migration between technologies

The CF3® design ensures pin-out consistency so that modules of the same size can be swapped to support different technologies or to add new features both now and in the future. The design also defines simple signal routing to migrate between modules of different sizes with Ring A or C required for any CF3 design. To achieve this, there are 3 types of pins:

  1. Core pins: never change and are guaranteed to be forward and backward compatible within module Series
  2. Extension pins: enable additional features without impacting compatibility
  3. Custom pins: allow for unique module-specific features
Socket Options

CF3® Socket

Connectorized and solder-down options help scale manufacturing

The CF3® design recommends a common socket available for all modules of the same form factor to simplify prototyping and accommodate a build-to-order manufacturing process. The innovative snap-in socket uses the same board space as a solder-down module to facilitate mass production manufacturing in the future.

Related Resources