Sub-$5 Cavli C16QS CAT1.bis cellular IoT module features Qualcomm QCX216 modem

Qualcomm QCX216 LTE IoT modem was announced at the end of last year as one of the first solutions supporting the new CAT1.bis standard enabling smaller, simpler, and cheaper modules with a single antenna design. This chip also integrates a WiFi scanner exclusively used for indoor positioning.

Cavli Wireless C16QS CAT1.bis is one of the first cellular IoT modules based on the Qualcomm QCX216, and we now have a clearer idea of what “cheaper” means since the company says it will sell those for less than $5 to OEMs, although that price is likely in very high quantities, possibly 100k+ or one million pieces.

Cavli C16QS Cat 1.bis module

Cavli C16QS specifications:

  • Wireless IC – Qualcomm QCX216 with dual-core Cortex-M3 @ 204 MHz, cellular modem-RF
  • Storage – 4 MB
  • Cellular connectivity
    • LTE CAT 1.bis based on 3GPP Release 14
    • Peak speeds – 10Mbps (DL), 5Mbps (UL)
    • Bands
      • EMEA: B1/B3/B5/B8/B20
      • North America : B2/B4/B12/B13/B66/B71
    • Integrated eSIM
    • Protocols – MQTT(S), HTTP(S), TCP, CoAP
  • Optional GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, IRNSS (aka NavIC, India RNNS solution)
  • Interfaces – 1x SWD, 2x ADC, 1x USIM, 1x SPI, 1x I2S, 4x UART, 2x ANT
  • Supply Voltage – 3.1 to 4.2V, .6V typ.
  • Dimensions – 26.5 x 22.5 x 2.3 mm, LGA Package
  • Temperature Range
    • Operating – “Normal”: -20°C to +85°C; “Extreme”: -40°C to +85°C
    • Storage – -40°C to +85°C

Note there’s no mention of the WiFi scanner and indoor positioning for the C16QS, so it might not be supported by the module . The eSIM can support the Cavli Hubble cloud platform with global coverage, cellular data subscription management, and module & modem management. The Cavli C16QS module can be used for logistics, Point-of-Sales, health monitoring, fleet management, and asset tracking.

Qualcomm QCX216 development kit

The company also provides an IoT Device Development kit (DDK) based on the C16QS with SIM card slot, I/O headers, USB ports, and a few buttons. There’s a “Buy button” on the website, but after entering your business contact details, the process ends with the following message:

Thank you for pre-ordering Cavli smart IoT modules
Please expect a Cavli representative to reach out to you shortly

Basic documentation (product brief) also requires email registration, while the hardware manual and AT commands set are only available to customers. Samples are available now, and mass production is scheduled to start soon. More details may be found on the product page and the press release.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

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4 Replies to “Sub-$5 Cavli C16QS CAT1.bis cellular IoT module features Qualcomm QCX216 modem”

  1. Cavli seems to have interesting business model, i think they subsidize the module, but it works with their service – which is $1/device/month. It is not unreasonable, given they offer global coverage.

    1. I am not sure if they offer global coverage since the module doesn’t support B28 band (700 mhz) of Australia and Brazil..

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