Qualcomm 212S and 9205S Satellite IoT modems target remote monitoring and asset tracking

Qualcomm has just unveiled the Qualcomm 212S and Qualcomm 9205S Satellite IoT modems developed in collaboration with Skylo, an NTN service provider, to enable IoT devices connectivity across satellite and cellular networks for remote monitoring and asset tracking.

At the beginning of the year, Qualcomm launched Snapdragon Satellite for two-way messaging on smartphones, but the company has now expanded its use of satellite data connectivity with the Qualcomm 212S and 9205S modems optimized for 5G IoT use cases relying on NTN (Non-Terrestrial Networks).

Qualcomm 212S Satellite IoT modem

Qualcomm 212S block diagramQualcomm 212S (QCX212S) modem specifications:

  • CPU – Arm Cortex-M3 CPU @ up to 204 MHz
  • Cellular connectivity
    • Cellular Technology – Rel.14 LTE Cat-NB2, Rel.17 NB-IoT over NTN
    • RF
      • LTE low bands – B85, B5, B8, B18, B19, B12, B13, B17, B14, B28, B26, B20
      • LTE mid bands – B70, B25, B66, B4, B3, B2, B1, B23, N255, N256
  • Network Protocols – SSL, HTTPS, IPv4, IPv6, TLS, ping, TCP, UDP, OMA Lightweight M2M, CoAP, DTLS, MQTT
  • I/Os – 2x SPI, 3x UART, 2x I²C, 4x ADC, up to 26x GPIOs
  • Security – Secure Boot
  • Supply Voltage Range – 2.2 V to 4.5 V
  • Battery management – Voltage monitoring
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C

The Qualcomm 212S LTE IoT modem runs FreeRTOS, and appears to compete against the Sony ALT1350 microcontroller that also offers some extra features such as WiFi & GNSS location and an 802.15.4 radio, but Qualcomm highlights the lack of GNSS is a cost-saving measure for standalone deployments. More details about the Qualcomm solution can be found on the product page.

Qualcomm 9205S modem

Qualcomm 9205S Satellite IoT SoC block diagram

Qualcomm 9205S (MDM9205S) modem specifications:

  • CPU – Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 800 MHz/1GHz
  • Cellular
    • Peak Speed
      • Download – Up to 127 kbps (Rel. 14 Cat-NB2 = NB-IoT), Up to 588 kbps (Rel. 14 Cat-M1)
      • Upload – Up to 1119 kbps (Cat-M1), up to 158.5 kbps (Cat-NB2)
    • Technology – Rel.14 LTE Cat-NB2, Rel.12 EGPRS MSC12, Rel.14 LTE Cat-M1, Rel.17 NB-IoT over NTN Calling Services: LTE Cat-M1 VoLTE over IMS, GSM CS voice
    • RF
      • LTE low bands – B85, B5, B8, B18, B19, B12, B13, B17, B14, B27, B28, B26, B20, B71, B31, B72, B73
      • LTE mid bands – B25, B66, B4, B3, B2, B1, B23, N256, N255
      • EGPRS bands – B3, B2, B8, B5
  • Satellite Systems – GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, GPS
  • Protocols: SSL, IPv4, IPv6, ping, PPP, DTSL, TCP, HTTP, FTP, UDP, OMA Lightweight M2M, CoAP, MQTT
  • Interfaces – PWM, USB 2.0, SPI, ADC, HS-UART, GPIO
  • Security – Secure Boot, Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), Hardware-based Crypto Engine, Secure file system, Secure debug
  • Supply Voltage Range – 2.4 V to 4.8 V
  • Battery management – Thermal monitoring
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C

As partially shown in the block diagram above, the Qualcomm 9205S IoT modem would typically be integrated into solutions with the SDR105 radio transceiver and front-end, WCD93066 audio codec, PME9205 PMIC, and SMB23 battery charger.

We are told the modem is running ThreadX RTOS on the Cortex-A7 core and Qualcomm provides an LTE IoT SDK for the solution which should be be surprising since the 9205S builds upon the Qualcomm Q9205 NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M modem introduced in 2018. Integrated GNSS provides location support for 5G IoT-NTN connectivity making the Qualcomm 9205S modem suitable for “hybrid use case applications that require mobility between terrestrial and satellite networks including asset tracking, emergency communication, and real-time monitoring”. More details may be found on the product page.

The press release also mentions both chipsets support the Qualcomm Aware real-time asset tracking and device management platform, and while the Qualcomm 9205S is available now, the Qualcomm 212S modem will be available later this year.

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Martin Jeong
Martin Jeong
1 month ago

Hi Jean,

Awesome content as usual. I was wondering if you know what kind of memory it could integrate into this chipset.

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