Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem Supports LTE Cat NB2, Promises Higher Power Efficiency

A few years ago, Qualcomm launched Snapdragon 212 processor for smart speakers. This post has nothing to do with this, but strangely the company decided to reuse the 212 number in its new Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT modem with the claim of being the “world’s most power-efficient single-mode (NB2) chipset”.

Specifically, Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem is said to require less than one micro-amp (1uA) of sleep current, support ultra-low system-level cut-off voltage (as low as 2.2V) with provisions for adapting power usage according to varying source power levels.

Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT Modem key features and specifications:

  • MCU Core – Arm Cortex M3 @ up to 204 MHz
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • 3GPP Rel.14 LTE capabilities: Cat-NB2 with multi-carrier NPRACH and Paging, Cat-NB2 Release Assistance Indication (RAI), Cat-NB2 with larger TBS and 2 HARQ processes
    • Peak Speeds – DL: 127 kbps; UL: 158.5 kbps
    • Frequency Bands (700Mhz to 2.1 GHz for global roaming)
      • LTE low bands: B5, B68, B8, B12, B13, B14, B17, B18, B19, B20, B26, B28, B71, B85
      • LTE mid bands: B1, B65, B70, B2, B25, B66, B3, B4
    • Global Emergency Services Support – ECID, OTDOA (LTE-based positioning)
  • Network Protocols – IPv4/IPv6 stack with TCP and UDP, TLS, HTTPS, PPP, SSL, DTSL, FTP, ping, HTTTP, MQTT, OMA Lightweight M2M, CoAP
  • I/O Interfaces – 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 3x UART, up to 26 GPIOs, 4-channel ADC
  • Security – Hardware-based Crypto Engine, Secure Key provisioning, Secure Boot
  • Integrated Chipsets
    • Qualcomm 9205 baseband IC
    • SMB231 charger IC
    • PME9205 power management IC
    • SDR105 radio transceiver and front-end IC
    • WCD9306 audio codec IC
  • Supply Voltage – 2.2V to 4.5V
  • Temperature Range – -40 to 85°C
  • Package – < 10x10mm
Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The fully integrated modem is said to lower BoM costs and ease module design development. The Cortex-M3 runs FreeRTOS, and the company provides an SDK with pre-integrated support for cloud platforms such as the Microsoft Azure IoT SDK.

The previous LTE IoT modem from Qualcomm was 9205 NB-IoT & Cat M1 LTE Modem using a Cortex-A7 core, so Qualcomm 212 should definitely provide much-improved battery life in NB-IoT nodes and a fairly lower cost.

Some of the existing Qualcomm customers are already working on Qualcomm 212 modules including Telit, Gemalto, and Quectel. More details may be found on the product page and press release.

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