Sony announces Altair ALT1255 5G-ready NB-IoT chipset with 2G fallback

Sony Semiconductor Israel, previously known as Altair Semiconductor, has announced the launch of the Altair ALT1255 NB-IoT (NB2) chipset. The 5G-ready chip comes with an integrated SIM, a user MCU, and a GSM/GPRS fallback modem. Sony Altair ALT1255 NB-IoT chipset specifications: MCU core – Arm Cortex M4 MCU with 192KB RAM for user applications Cellular connectivity CAT-NB1 up to 27.2 Kbps DL, 62.5 Kbps UL CAT-NB2 up to  127 Kbps DL, 158 Kbps UL Carrier-grade integrated SIM (iSIM) 3GPP Release 14 Features – eDRX, PSM, Relaxed monitoring, RAI (Release Assistance Indication), Large TBS, and Dual HARQ processes “OneSKU” frequency range 617 – 960 MHz and 1695– 2200 MHz; Frequency bands HD-FDD bands – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 66, 70, 71 and 85 Optional support for 410-467.5 MHz bands: 31, 72, 73, 87, 88 2G quad-band support: GSM-850, E-GSM-900, DCS-1800, PCS-1900 Network protocols – IPV4/V6 IP stack, TLS/DTLS, HTTP(s), […]

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Feather compatible shield Integrates BG96 Module with LTE Cat-M1, NB-IoT, and GPS

Last week, I wrote about the Pebble Board, an nRF9160 based LTE-M and NB-IoT GPS tracker board that connects with Thingsboard. I was soon informed about a similar solution based on Quectel BG96 and compatible with the Feather form factor. Meet IoT-Bots.com’s qTop  Adafruit Feather Compatible shield. In case you wonder, why they did not call it a FeatherWing, that’s because as it’s slightly larger, and the boards are “Adafruit Feather Compatible (AFC) from the interface connection perspective only.” Key features and specifications: Wireless module – Quectel BG96 Cellular – LTE Cat M1, NB-IoT, and EGPRS module offering maximum data rates of 375 kbps downlink and uplink GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou/Compass, Galileo, QZSS Nano SIM card holder and u.FL connector (3) for cellular connectivity u.FL connector (4) for GNSS Expansion Feather expansion connector (11) 6-pin qJam interface connector (12) with I2C for extra sensors Misc – Network status LED, qTop Shield ID chip Power – 3.3V LDO, Buck-boost DC/DC, […]

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Pebble Tracker nRF9160 GPS & cellular IoT platform connects to IoTeX blockchain (Crowdfunding)

Nordic Semi nRF91-series of Cortex-M33 SoCs with NB-IoT and LTE-M (eMTC) cellular IoT connectivity was first unveiled in 2018. The first member of the family is nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) which also comes with GPS, and we’ve found it Nordic’s own Thingy:91 devkit, as well as in various modules and development boards from third parties. There’s now a new kit called Pebble Tracker that features Nordic Semi nRF9160 with NB-IoT, LTE-M, and GPS connectivity, as well as environmental, motion, and light sensors. The cellular IoT prototyping platform works with the IoTeX blockchain to design decentralized IoT solutions with higher security. Pebble Tracker hardware specifications: Wireless module – Nordic Semi nRF9610 SiP MCU Core -​ Arm Cortex-M33 @ 64 MHz Storage & Memory – 1 MB flash, 256 KB SRAM Connectivity – LTE-M / NB-IoT modem with support for bands from 700 MHz to 2.2 GHz) Security – Arm TrustZone IoT SIM card slot GNSS – TD1030 GPS receiver (time-multiplexed with LTE […]

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Agromon smart agriculture wireless transmitter connects ModBus RS485 sensors to WiFi, LoRaWAN, Sigfox, or NB-IoT

The Internet of Things has many applications including smart agriculture . A few months ago, I talked to a local shrimp farm owner who used Arduino and ESP8266 boards to monitor water and activate pumps only when needed to get shrimps healthy and save on his electricity bill. He built his own solutions, but there are also companies offering easy-to-use smart farming solutions such as Malaysia-based Wondernica’s Agromon “interface wireless transmitter” designed specifically for smart agriculture applications. Agromon has two variants with support for 2 sensors (WR-AGRO-2S) or 3 sensors (WR-AGRO-3S) that share the following specifications: Connectivity – WiFi, Sigfox (RCZ 2/4), LoRaWAN, NB-IoT Sensor Interface – Modbus RS485 (analog input / 4-20mA / 12V-14V output) Power Supply – 12V DC (tolerance up to 14V); supports batteries, solar power, or power adapter Power Consumption – Sleep Mode: 3 mW Dimensions – 130 x 90 x 40mm Ingress Protection – IP67 Agromon transmitter is powered by an an ESP32-WROOM-32 WiFi (and […]

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Calliope 2 – An LTE Cat-1 IoT platform with VoLTE support

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, […]

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Year 2020 in review – Top ten posts and stats

It’s this time of the year when we look back at what happened, and what may be next. 2020 did not pan out as planned in more ways than one, but there were still some interesting developments. Based on 2019 announcements, 2020 was promising to be an exciting year for Amlogic and Rockchip with the expected launch of RK3588 and S908X high-end processors for 8K capable devices,  but we’ll have to wait for 2021 for this to happen. Instead, the most interesting processor of the year from the Allwinner, Amlogic, and Rockchip offerings was probably Amlogic S905X4 processing adding AV1 hardware decoding. As pointed out in our “RISC-V 2020 highlights” post, it was a fairly eventful year for RISC-V architecture, although there’s still a long road ahead, especially for application processors. We had seen some general-purpose and Bluetooth RISC-V MCUs in 2019, but 2020 saw the launch of the first WiFi IoT RISC-V chips with ESP32-C3 and BL602, Alibaba making […]

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Actinius launches nRF9160 SoM and XBee module with NB-IoT, LTE Cat-M, and GPS

Last year, Actinius launched Icarus IoT Board equipped with nRF9160 SiP providing GPS & NB-IoT connectivity in Adafruit Feather form factor. The company is now back with more compact Nordic Semi nRF9160 hardware, namely the tiny 28×18.5mm Icarus SoM with built-in eSIM, as well as Icarus Bee XBee module that incorporates Icarus SoM plus a nano-SIM slot, as well as an RGB LED and a user button. Icarus SoM The module comes with the following specifications: SiP – Nordic Semi nRF9160-SICA system-in-package with Arm Cortex-M33 MCU, 1024 KB flash, 256 KB SRAM, and LTE-M (eMTC), NB-IoT, and GPS  connectivity Storage – 64Mbit SPI flash On-board eSIM Antennas – 2x u.FL connectors for LTE and GPS Sensor – Accelerometer I/Os – 2x 20 castellated holes with GPIOS, I2C, SWD, Reset, SIM card signals, and power pins Supply Voltage – 3.3V Dimensions  – 28 x 18.5 mm The multi-layer module is designed to help customers simplify their design and bring products faster […]

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Notecard LTE Cat-M / NB-IoT M.2 modem sells for $49+ with 10 years of connectivity

If the IoT is ever going to take off, it needs low-cost hardware and connectivity. LoRaWAN is free, apart from the hardware costs, but for projects that need wider coverage and/or higher bitrate cellular connectivity is the way to go and we’ve seen in the past that Hologram offers a free developer SIM card for global IoT projects plus some low-cost cellular IoT plans, as well as 1CNE plans to offer a 10-year plan for 10 Euros. Blues Wireless has taken a different approach as they combine hardware and cellular connectivity with their Notecard LTE-IoT modems (LTE Cat 1/Cat M or NB-IoT) shipping for 10 years of connectivity for up to 500MB data. Notecard has four variants with the following key features and specifications: MCU – Arm Cortex-M4 MCU with 2MB flash Cellular connectivity NOTE-NBGL-500 – Narrowband Cat-M/NB-IoT/GPRS (Global) via  Quectel BG95-M3 modem NOTE-NBNA-500 – Narrowband Cat-M/NB-IoT (North America) via Quectel BG95-M1 modem NOTE-WBEX-500 – LTE Cat-1 (Global) via Quectel […]

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