We have already seen Sequans’ Low Power LTE-M/NB-IoT Module – the Monarch 2. Sequans, popular for its product portfolio based on Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT and Calliope Cat 1 chip platforms, has continued to release more products with the latest announcement of the Calliope 2 LTE Cat-1 Platform (Chip). This solution is designed for IoT applications that require a higher data rate of more than 100 kilobits per second.
One of the key elements of the IoT industry is to choose a network connection that is cost-efficient and provides excellent coverage along with global coverage that enables roaming and voice over LTE (VoLTE) made possible with Cat 1. Why having audio and voice for IoT applications you may ask? That’s mostly useful in machine-to-human and human-to-machine communications such as command, control, and alerts.
“Calliope 2 complements our Monarch 2 LTE-M/NB-IoT product family and makes Sequans a one-stop-shop for virtually all IoT applications—ranging from simple low-speed sensor devices to higher speed security cameras, and from low-power, battery-operated consumer devices to sophisticated, higher speed industrial devices.”
Heart of the Chip
Calliope 2 has an integrated microcontroller (MCU) that allows developers to run their applications on the chip without requiring any external CPU/MCU. This dedicated MCU provides enough flash memory and RAM to run popular user applications. There is also an embedded voice processing acceleration for optimization of VoLTE.
The MCU clocks up to 307.2 MHz frequency with a comprehensive VoLTE voice engine, including HD-quality voice, and supports several cloud protocols like MQTT, HTTP, CoAP, TLS1.3, and DTLS1.2 security stack.
What makes Calliope 2 LTE Cat-1 Platform better?
This cost-effective solution is a 5G-compliant chip following the 3GPP release of 15 massive IoT standards built by the company several years ago. This enables the Sequans Calliope 2 chip to lower power consumption and meet cost constraints for the deployment of Cat 1 for IoT. Some of these advancements are higher integration that improved the cost efficiency, and improved power consumption in both active and low power modes.
Due to improved power consumption in both active and low power modes, there has been an increase in the battery life of Cat 1 IoT devices. Other than the two major advantages of power consumption and cost-efficient solution, it features several improvements such as an “EAL5+ secure enclave for ieUICC, and integrated VoLTE with support for emergency voice calling and streaming audio”.
Features of Calliope 2 LTE Cat-1 Platform
Here is a list of some of the features of the 5G-compliant single chip- the Calliope 2:
- Cellular connectivity:
- 3GPP Release 14 and Release 15 LTE
- Supports LTE UE category Cat 1
- Support for all LTE low power modes: IDLE, eDRX and PSM
- Support for a wide range of frequencies:
- Downlink: 617–960 MHz, 1805-2200 MHz
- Uplink: 663–915 MHz, 1695-2020 MHz
- 3GPP Release 14 and Release 15 LTE
- Application MCU:
- 307.2 MHz MCU clock speed
- Comprehensive VoLTE voice engine, including the HD-quality Voice (EVS)
- Rich SDK with the support of all major cloud protocols like MQTT, HTTP, CoAP, TLS1.3, and DTLS1.2 security stack
- IoT interfaces: HS-UART, I2C, SPI, GPIO, ADC, PWM, PCM, I2S, USB 2.0
- Dual external USIM
Since Calliope is capable of adding LTE Cat 1 connectivity to give a higher data rate for IoT devices. This 5G-compliant chip is designed for battery-operated devices like wearables/hearables and even smart city/smart home IoT devices.
If you are interested in the Calliope 2 LTE Cat-1 Platform, more information is available in the press release and the official product page. The features mentioned are directly taken from the product brief released by the company. The manufacturer has not provided any information about market availability and volume shipping of the chips.
Abhishek Jadhav is an engineering student, RISC-V Ambassador, freelance tech writer, and leader of the Open Hardware Developer Community.