Altair FourGee LTE Chipsets Promise 10 Years of Connectivity with AA Batteries for IoT Applications

Connectivity achieved with GSM,. 3G or LTE (4G) cellular networks is great for long distances, but usually costs and power consumption are too high for IoT or M2M communications, which explains why there are competing long range low power WAN standards such as Sigfox, LoRA or Weightless. Altair Semiconductor introduced two new LTE SoCs, namely FourGee-1150/6410 and FourGee-1160/6410 a few months ago, supporting respectively LTE Cat-0 and Cat-1 connectivity, and promising up to 10 years of battery life on AA batteries for smart meters, wearables, security alarms, city lightings, etc…

LTE_SoC_for_IoT

Altair FourGee-1150 and FourGee-1160 key features and specifications:

  • Processor – Multiple MIPS M5150 “Warrior” MCU cores
  • LTE Connectivity
    • FourGee-1150
      • LTE Release 12 Category-0 (1Mbps / 1Mbps), software upgradeable for supporting Release 13 features
      • Integrated VoLTE/IMS/OTA-DM functionality
    • FourGee-1160
      • LTE Release 11 Category-1 (10Mbps / 5Mbps), software upgradeable for supporting Releases 12 and 13 features
      • Integrated VoLTE/IMS/OTA-DM with HD voice functionality
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR) architecture allowing upgrade to the latest LTE releases
  • RF featuresLow power RF CMOS architecture; Two RF ports supporting two bands in the range of 400-2700MHz; Integrated power detector; SAW-less Tx operation
  • Interfaces
    • USB2.0
    • Ethernet
    • UART, SPI, Auxiliary PWM and ADC
    • I2S/PCM
    • Camera
    • USIM
  • Embedded power management unit (PMU) featuring ultra-low deep sleep current consumption
LTE Smart Meters?
LTE Smart Meters?

The company claims its “FourGee chips offer up to 10 times better energy efficiency and half the connectivity cost of the standard LTE technologies being used today” (4G performance at 2G price points). Altair Semi gave a LTE-powered smart meter running up to 10 years with standard AA batteries, as an example. Verizon Wireless and Altair also announced a strategic initiative to accelerate the development of new LTE-based  Internet of Things (IoT) products, meaning products should be in the fields in a not too distance future.

Altair FourGee-1150/6401 and FourGee-1160/6401 pages have few other details..

Via Imagination Blog

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