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Technical FAQ

  • Hardware Baseband

    Q
    What are the precautions when using the module?
    A
    1. Considering the cost of hardware changes in later phases, it is recommended to pay attention to design requirements of power supply VBAT, SIM and RF in the hardware design phase.
    2. The module is an electrostatic sensitive device. It is required to wear electrostatic gloves or an electrostatic bracelet when working with it. Oil or sweat from hands may leave fingerprints on the surface of module, which may impair module appearance and patch quality.
    3. Exceeding the supply voltage range may cause permanent damage to the module.
    Q
    Does frequent rebooting of the module cause any risks?
    A
    Soft rebooting will not result in any damages, although it may shorten the service life of the memory.
    Rebooting by powering down may cause memory data loss.
    Q
    What functions or performance indicators of the module should be tested at the device production line to ensure its functionality and performance?
    A
    For customers' production lines, it is recommended to test SIM card detection, network registration, signal strength and various application interfaces; it is not recommended to test throughput.
  • SW and HW

    Q
    Does the 5G module support eSim?
    A
    It supports built-in eSIM currently. Contact Fibocom technical support for details.
    Q
    Does the 5G module support voice calls and SMS?
    A
    The voice call function supports digital audio output. If analog audio output is required, you will need to add an external codec circuit. Sending and receiving SMS are supported.
    Q
    How to remotely upgrade the firmware of 5G module?
    A
    FOTA remote over-the-air (OTA) firmware upgrade is supported. It is recommended to use FOTA as the upgrade procedure is simple and convenient. In addition, FOAT firmware upgrade (upgrade over AT command) is also supported.
    Q
    What is ECM of the 5G module?
    A
    ECM refers to the Ethernet Networking Control Model, which is used to transfer ethernet packets between the device and the host. The usbmode modes that currently support ECM include:
    18 Diag+Modem+AT+Pipe+ECM+ADB
    23 Modem+AT+ECM
    33 Diag+Modem+AT+Pipe+ECM
    Q
    What is RMNET of the 5G module?
    A
    It refers to the ReMoute NETwork, which can initiate data call through the QMICM tool integrated with QMI commands. The usbmode modes that currently support RMNET include:
    17 Diag+Modem+AT+Pipe+RMNET+ADB
    22 Modem+AT+RMNET
    31 Diag+Modem+RMNET+DPL+QDSS+ADB (Reserved QCOM for internal debug only)
    32 Diag+Modem+AT+Pipe+RMNET
    Q
    How to dial with the 5G module?
    A
    Two dialing methods are currently supported:
    ECM dialing: use AT+GTRNDIS;
    RMNET dialing: AT$QCRMCALL;
    Q
    Does the module support Open Linux?
    A
    Yes. Most of our LGA/LCC packages support Open Linux development. Please contact Fibocom FAE or our sales representative for details.
    Q
    What host operating systems do the module support?
    A
    Our module provides the drivers and instructions for Windows, Linux, and Android. Please contact Fibocom FAE or our sales representative for details.
    Q
    What is the maximum SD card capacity supported by the mobile computing smart modules?
    A
    128GB
    Q
    How to use abd to flash partition files with the mobile computing smart modules?
    A
    As an example to flash the boot partition:
    adb reboot bootloader // Reboot the system and enter fastboot mode
    fastboot flash boot D: \ boot.img // flash the boot partition
    fastboot reboot // Reboot the system
    Q
    Does the mobile computing smart module support SIM card hot swapping?
    A
    The mobile computing smart module generally supports SIM card hot swapping. Specifically, the support for SIM card hot swapping depends on the MODEM side. Please consult Fibocom technical support for details if necessary.
    Q
    What is the direction of the SIM card holder of the mobile computing smart module development board?
    A
    There is feedback for both forward and reverse insertions of the SIM card holder of the mobile computing smart module development board. Please pay attention to the shape of the SIM card holder and insert the card according to the notch orientation. Note that the contact point of the SIM card should touch the contact point on the PCB. The SIM card notch on the current development board is facing outward.
    Q
    Are low-noise amplifiers and SAW filters added in the internal GPS of the mobile computing smart module?
    A
    Low noise amplifiers and SAW filters are added in the internal GPS of some modules, such as our smart module SC820.
    Q
    Why does the EVK of mobile computing smart module fail to boot after being powered?
    A
    1. If the DC power supply is used, the battery temperature detection pin should be connected to a 10K resistor and pulled down. (The temperature detection pin is the pin in the middle of the battery interface.)
    2. If you use a battery with a temperature detection pin, the battery will be pulled down by 10K, so you can boot the module normally.
    Q
    Explain the AP and BP divisions and label descriptions for mobile computing smart modules
    A
    BP
    modem NON-HLOS.bin
    sbl1 sbl1.mbn
    rpm rpm.mbn
    tz tz.mbn
    AP
    aboot emmc_appsboot.mbn
    splash splash.img
    boot boot.img
    system system.img
    persist persist.img
    cache cache.img
    recovery recovery.img
    privdata privdata1.img
    userdata userdata.img
    Q
    What are the fast charging specifications for mobile computing smart module batteries?
    A
    SC800 / SC806 (msm8909) does not support fast charging.
    SC820 (msm8953) does not support fast charging.
    SC826 (msm8953) supports fast charging (QC3.0). It depends on whether the specific model has PMI. If a model is provisioned with PMI, it can theoretically support fast charging. Please contact Fibocom technical support for details.
  • Power Supply

    Q
    What are the requirements for power supply voltage and driver capability for normal functions of the module?
    A
    The recommended voltage value for the Fibocom module is 3.8V (refer to the Fibocom hardware manual of specific modules for details); the driver capability must be 3A or above, and ripple must be less than 300mV.
    Q
    What are the requirements for the battery power supply?
    A
    The battery peak discharge capacity is recommended to be 5A, and over-discharge/over-charge protection points need to meet the power supply range of the module. The internal resistance of the battery is recommended to be less than 100 milliohms; batteries with good linearity at high and low temperatures are recommended.
  • SIM Card

    Q
    How to troubleshoot if voice calls cannot be made or the internet cannot be accessed with a SIM card?
    A
    1. Check if the SIM card is activated and check if the 4G service is activated.
    2. The data traffic with the SIM card may be service-specific, meaning the SIM card only allows access to specific servers and connection to other servers are unstable or will not work. For example, the NTP server may not be added to the SIM card whitelist.
    3. A username and password combination may be required for dedicated network card authentication.
    4. The module may not support the network standard.
    5. The SIM card may be an IoT card with voice function removed.
    6. Other unknown reasons.
    Q
    What is the possible cause of SIM card damage?
    A
    The SIM card is a chip that stores user information, and it can only be operated by authorized operators. The physical interface between the chip and the host is a bare metal sheet. After being used for a period of time, the internal data on the SIM card may be corrupted for several reasons, including short circuiting caused by moisture, deformation, static electricity or abnormal power-down.
    Q
    What is the cause of SIM card drop? What is the cause for reporting +SIM DROP?
    A
    1. The main cause may be hardware interference, e.g. the wiring of the antenna or RF is next to or close to the SIM card, which might cause interference.
    2. The internal data of the SIM card is corrupted. The solution is to replace it with another SIM card from the operator that the module supports.
    3. It may be a SIM card compatibility issue. There are many SIM card manufacturers. The internal data in some SIM cards may change after a period of use. Please contact Fibocom FAE to capture the module trace for analysis.
    4. It may be related to module operations. For example, frequent rebooting of the module can cause internal initialization errors, which may result in card drop.
    5. Mechanical vibrations may cause card drop.
  • Serial Port

    Q
    What to do if the serial port is not connected?
    A
    1. First, confirm that the module is powered up properly: for mobile computing smart modules, check the device screen using VDD and LPG detection or by viewing the SIM_VCC waveform.
    2. Check if the settings match, including baud rate and traffic control.
    3. Check the UART for wireless sequence errors, poor welding, and whether there is short circuit to ground.
    4. Check if the levels match.
    Q
    Why does the module return junk code when the serial port of the single chip microcomputer sends data?
    A
    It may be caused by a large error in the baud rate used by the processor. The module requires a highly accurate baud rate. Correcting the parameter settings on the processor side should solve the problem. It may also be caused by the short circuit to ground of the serial port. It is recommended to compare the waveforms.
    Q
    How to check if the module is turned on when the serial port is disconnected?
    A
    Measure the voltage or voltage waveform of the VDD. This is why customers should reserve VDD test points during hardware design.
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