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Posts Tagged ‘lpwan’

Semtech Improves LoRa Efficiency and Range, Reduces Footprint with SX1261, SX1262, and SX1268 LoRa Chips

January 9th, 2018 No comments

LoRa is one of the most popular LPWAN technology deployed around the world with chips made by Semtech, as it allow long range, low power communication at low bitrate, and is especially useful for asset tracking, smart parking, and all sort of remote monitoring of persons (e.g. elderly fall for seniors) or assets (e.g. leak detection). Depending on your applications, i.e. data size and update frequency, a coin cell battery can last up to 10 years

The company has now introduced the second generation LoRa technology with three new RF chips that are 45% smaller, reduce power consumption by 50% (4.5 mA) , and extend range by 20%. The new chips also offers a high-power transmit option (+22 dBm), supports FSK modulation for migration to LoRaWAN from legacy protocols, and includes a new spreading factor for dense networks.

SX126x Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Full list of new features listed by the company:

  • 50% less power in receive mode
  • 20% more extended range
  • +22 dBm transmit power
  • A 45% reduction in size: 4mm by 4mm
  • Global continuous frequency coverage: 150-960MHz
  • Simplified user interface with implementation of commands (10 lines of code needed to transmit or received a packet)
  • New spreading factor of SF5 to support dense networks
  • Protocol compatible with existing deployed LoRaWAN networks

The three new devices – SX1261 (+15dBm), SX1262 (+22dBm), and SX1268 (+22dBm, China frequency bands) – are currently sampling to select customers and partners, and will be in full production later in March 2018. Development kits are also expected at that time.

Categories: Hardware Tags: ces 2018, IoT, lora, lpwan, semtech

AcSiP S76G/S78G SiPs Integrate LoRa, GPS, and MCU into a Single 1.3×1.1 cm Package

January 5th, 2018 4 comments

LoRa has been combined with GPS in several products such as Rakwireless RAK811 LoRa tracker board, or Dragino LoRa/GPS HAT board among others, with all designed for far based on a LoRa module, plus a GPS module.

LoRa GPS tracker will soon even smaller as AcSiP has developed S76G and S78G systems-in-package (SiP) that combine LoRa, GPS and an MCU into a single 1.1 x 1.3cm package.


The two new modules are not listed on the company’s IoT-LoRa products page yet, but they appear to be an evolution of their S76S / S78S LoRa + MCU SiP released in 2016, so the new modules should have the following features:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32L073x Arm Cortex M0+ MCU with up to 192 KB of Flash memory and 20 KB of RAM
  • LoRa
    • AcSiP S76G – Semtech SX1276 supporting global 868 MHz or 915 MHz ISM-Bands.
    • AcSiP S78G – Semtech SX1278 supporting global 433 MHz or 470 MHz ISM-Bands
  • GPS
  • I/Os – I2C/SPI/UART/GPIO
  • Package – 1.3 x 1.1 cm

The company will offers a complete SDK / HDK suite with latter likely similar to EK-S78S board pictured below but with an extra GPS antenna or connector.

AcSiP S78S LoRa Development Kit

AcSiP S76G / 78G SiP are expecting to be found in wearables, children and pets tracking and other applications. Availability and pricing has not been disclosed, but for reference their previous generation S76S and S78S chips are sold for respectively $20 and $18 (sample price for online purchase).

Via China Times

Categories: Hardware, STMicro STM32 Tags: acsip, gps, IoT, lora, lpwan, sip, stm32

Year 2017 in Review, Top 10 Posts, and Some Fun Stats

December 31st, 2017 20 comments

2017 is coming to an end, and as I do every year, I’ll take a look back at the year that was on CNX Software. The pace of development boards launches has not slowed down this year, and we get an even wider range from the low-end with Orange Pi or NanoPi boards, to much more powerful ARM boards, and some new entrants like Libre Computer. The same is true for TV boxes, most of which now support 4K HDR, ranging from ultra cheap models selling for less than $20 to higher end Android TV boxes, while mini PCs were dominated by Intel Apollo Lake models, although some Cherry Trail products were also launched.

Processor-wise, Amlogic launched more Amlogic S905X derivatives with S905W/S905D/S905Z, which are popular in the TV box market. Rockchip’s most interesting processor this year was RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor designed for 4K HDR Android TV boxes, but also popular with single board computers thanks to Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 interfaces that provide good I/O performance. Allwinner H2+/H3/H5 were launched last year, but they kept being used in cheap development boards, retro game consoles, etc.. The company also launched A63 SoC for 2K tablets, and H6 for 4K OTT TV boxes, and we can expect the latter not only to be found in TV boxes such as Zidoo H6 Pro, but in more Orange Pi H6 boards, and likely other products in 2018 since beside media capabilities, the processor also supports Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and PCIe. Intel’s Celeron and Pentium Apollo Lake processors dominated the entry-level Windows mini PCs market this year, and Linux was much better supported than in Bay Trail / Cherry Trail processors, but few manufacturers decided to offer Apollo Lake mini PC pre-installed with Ubuntu or other Linux distributions.

2017 was also an interesting year for the Internet of Things (IoT) with Espressif ESP32 going into full gear, and prices dropping to $5 for maker boards. Other WiFi IoT solutions that looked promising last year such as RTL8710AF, did not really took off in a big way. LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) solutions got even more traction with LoRa dominating, but far from being alone with Sigfox, and the emergence of 3GPP standards like NB-IoT and eMTC.

While I had written articles about 3D printing in the past, it really became a proper category on the blog this year, thanks to Karl’s reviews, and 3D printers provided by GearBest. I’d also like to thank Ian Morrison (Linuxium), TLS, Blu, Nanik who helped with reviews and/or articles this year.

Top 10 Posts Written in 2017

I’ve again compiled a list of the most popular posts of 2017 using the pageviews from Google Analytics, but for a change, I’ll show the results in reverse order:

  1. Google Assistant SDK Turns Your Raspberry Pi 3 into Google Home (May 2017) – Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant went beyond the companies’own products, and Google Assistant SDK release allowed developers to make their own DIY smart speaker based on Raspberry Pi 3 board, or other ARM Linux boards. I could successfully implement my own using an Orange Pi Zero kit.
  2. Mecool BB2 Pro Review – TV Box with DDR4 Memory – Part 2: Android Firmware, Benchmarks, Kodi (January 2017) – Mecool BB2 Pro was one of the first Amlogic S912 octa-core TV boxes with DDR4 memory, but my tests did not show any benefits over DDR3 memory.
  3. Mecool KI PRO Hybrid Android TV Box with Amlogic S905D SoC, DVB-T2 & DVB-S2 Tuners Sells for $80 (May 2017) – For some reasons, post about VideoStrong/Mecool Android set-top boxes are quite popular on CNX Software, and KI PRO was the first model based on Amlogic S905D processor with support for multiple demodulators.
  4. Orange Pi 2G-IoT ARM Linux Development Board with 2G/GSM Support is Up for Sale for $9.90 (March 2017) – “Cellular IoT Linux board for $10? Where’s the buy button?” might have been the first reaction to many people. But when buyers received their board, it was a struggle and may still be, since it was based on a  RDA Micro processor for phones poorly supported in Linux.
  5. Installing Ubuntu 17.04 on CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Apollo Lake Laptop (February 2017) – People want their cheap and usable Ubuntu laptop, and if manufacturers won’t make one for them, they’ll find ways to make their own. Sadly, CHUWI massively changed the hardware, and it’s not such a good solution anymore.
  6. ASUS Tinker Board is a Raspberry Pi 3 Alternative based on Rockchip RK3288 Processor (January 2017) – A large company like ASUS entering the maker board market, and the solution inspired from Raspberry Pi 3, but more much powerful. That got people interested!
  7. Creality CR-10 3D Printer Review – Part 2: Tips & Tricks, Octoprint, and Craftware (May 2017) – It was the year of cheap $100 to $200 3D printer, but CNX Software visitors were more interested in a better model, and Creality CR-10 review was the most popular 3D Printer review/post this year.
  8. Mecool KIII Pro Hybrid STB Review – Part 2: Android Firmware, TV Center, and DVB-T2 & DVB-S2 App (March 2017) – VideoStrong sells some inexpensive Android TV boxes with tuner under their Mecool, and KIII Pro was their first octa-core model with both DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S2 tuners.
  9. ASUS Tinker Board’s Debian & Kodi Linux Images, Schematics and Documentation (January 2017) – ASUS board was somehow started selling before the company intended to, and while firmware & documentation were there, they were hard to find, so people looked for that information, and found it on CNX Software.
  10. MINIX NEO U9-H Media Hub Review – Part 2: Android 6.0 Firmware & Kodi 17 (March 2017) – Apparently, I’m not the only to consider MINIX NEO U9-H to be one of the best Android TV boxes, as my review of the media hub was the most read post of 2017.

Stats

981 posts were published in 2017. Let’s go straight to users’ country and city location data.

The top five countries have not changes, but this year Germany overtook the United Kingdom in second position. Traffic from India increased on a relative basis, and Australia made it to the top ten at the cost of Russia. London and Paris kept the two top steps, but Bangkok rose to third position, while last year third, Tel aviv-Yafo went away completely from the list. New York is gone being replaced by Warsaw in 8th position.

The list of the most used operating systems, and browsers is fairly stable, but the trends noticed in past years continues, with Windows share of traffic going down, Android going up, and Linux stable, while Chrome dominated even more, with most other browsers going down in percentage basis, except Edge that is very slowly replacing Internet Explorer, and Samsung Internet that replaced Opera mini in the list.

Desktop traffic still rules, but mobile + tablet traffic now accounts for around a third of the traffic.

Finally, I went to dig into pagespeed data with pages loading in 15.58 seconds on average. I then filtered the countries with more than 5,000 pageviews, and CNX Software pages and posts loaded fastest in Portugal, Denmark, and Macedonia. However, people in Venezuela need to wait close to 2 minutes for a page to load on average, and in China and Iran around one minute.

Next year looks promising, and I expect to test Gemini Lake mini PC, and maybe some ARM based mini PCs or laptops, but I’ll review less TV boxes as due to some new regulations I can’t easily import them. The regulatory framework is now in place for LPWAN standards, and I should be able to start playing with LoRa and NB-IoT in 2018, using local services, or my own gateway(s). I’ll keep playing with development boards, as I’m expecting interesting Allwinner H6, Realtek RTD129x, Hilsicon, and other platforms in the year ahead, as well as various IoT products.

I’d like to come together with some of the devices and boards reviewed in 2017 (and a Linux tux) to wish you all a prosperous, healthy, and happy new year 2018!

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LoRaWAN Currently Leads LPWAN IoT Gateway Deployments Says VDC Research

December 15th, 2017 No comments

LoRaWAN, Sigfox, Weightless, RPMA, NB-IoT, etc… There are many LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networks) solutions, but it’s unclear whether most/all will survive and coexist, or there will eventually be a couple of winners used by everyone.

VDC Research is claiming that so far, LoRaWan assumes LPWAN leadership for IoT gateways, explaining that “LoRaWAN (LoRa) has generated considerable traction with new product launches from a number of gateway suppliers through the past 18 months”, but points to mounting competition from 3GPP standards such as NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1.

LPWAN Max Bitrate and Distance Range

Sadly, the company did not provides number in their public announcement, and those are only available in the paid report. VDC Research still released a public executive brief (free registration required), with some of the highlights including:

  • The global market for IoT gateway hardware is forecasted to grow to more than $2.5B in 2021.
  • While intelligent gateways generated more market revenue than M2M gateways in 2016, they will not comprise the majority of unit shipments until 2019.
  • Shipments of IoT gateway devices supporting LPWANs is set to explode with a 2016-2021 CAGR in excess of 100%.
  • The fastest growing Linux distributions for IoT gateways include OpenWRT, Ubuntu, and Wind River Linux.
  • Arm and x86 will extend their majority share among embedded CPU architectures in gateway hardware.
  • Nearly half of IoT gateway revenue will be generated in the Americas in 2021.
  • Two-thirds of current IoT gateway projects from VDC’s annual embedded engineer survey are connecting to sensors deployed in the field; sensor networks are driving gateway deployments.

NB-IoT Overview, Technical Presentation, and Getting Started (in Thailand)

December 7th, 2017 6 comments

As I mentioned in my post yesterday I attended a talk about NB-IoT at Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0 (2017). It was presented by representatives from AIS, a large telco company in Thailand, and I’ll give a summary of what I learned beside that Xiaomi Mi A1 camera is not that good after all, and I should have taken my DSLR camera with me instead. So apologies for the poor quality of some of the photos…

The talk started from a higher level, including marketing / business propositions, and has time passed it become more and more technical.

The first part of talk was presented by Phuchong Charoensuk, IoT marketing specialist at AIS, and he provided some more details about the company, and their current B2B IoT/M2M market (400,000 subscribers), before providing an overview of IoT, and how NB-IoT will bring in not only larger businesses but also startups and makers.

He also went through some of the benefits of NB-IoT network with (eventually) low cost devices, easy deployment, deep penetration (works indoor and underground), low power consumption with up to 10+ years batter life, and support for 100K connection per cell.

At some points he explained the different use cases of 4G, 3G, and NB-IoT / LTE Cat M1, and showed how LTE in automotive application was used by both the company to first track manufacturing and then telemetry, and the consumer for infotainment. Of course, no NB-IoT here.

The second speaker was Jarun Sinsawasmongkol, Future Network Developer Manager, and he started from a slide by ndimensionz showing the differences between M2M and IoT, with the former more focused on machines, and hardware based, while IoT is mostly software based with the cloud and big data, although we still obviously need the sensors to get data.

He went through the main component of the IoT network from B2C/B2C/B2C2B users, sensors and devices, the network itself which can be private or the Intenret, IoT platforms in the cloud, and finally the apps running on the platforms.

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Next up was the start of a comparison between IoT solutions following 3GPP standard such as eMTC, NB-IoT, or EC-GSM-IoT, and competing solutions like Sigfox, LoRa, Ingenu RPMA, etc…

But before that an explanation of about NB (Narrow Band) means, basically NB-IoT communication just takes over 200 kHz either in standalone mode, in the guard band, or inband.

NB-IoT comes with many of the same features as LTE like OFDMA for download and SC-FDMA for upload, but has been tweaked to provide a simpler and lower power comsumption with the following changes:

  • 200 kHz bandwidth
  • More retransmissions (up to 100 times)
  • No MSISDN needed
  • No IP mode
  • Network resource optimization

Click to Enlarge

The table below compares Sigfox, LoRa, LTE Cat-1/0, LTE Cat M1 (eMTC) and LTE Cat NB1 (NB-IoT) with the latter having similar features and complexity as Sigfox/LoRa solutions.

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NB-IoT coverage should eventually be better than LTE coverage thanks to NB-IoT coverage extension features using power spectrum density boosting (PSD) and repetition to extend the range of a cell tower.

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NB-IoT power saving mode (PSM) is what makes 10+ years battery life possible, as the node can stay in sleep state for up to 310 hours.

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The final two speakers, including Pornsak Hanvoravongchai, Device Innovation Manager, dealt with the node / sensor part of NB-IoT. First, Nb-IoT should be using embedded SIMs (eSIM) instead of traditional SIM cards since they allow for smaller footprints, and are more durable with better resistance to vibration, high temperature, and humidity levels.


Plenty of companies are already involved with NB-IoT starting with Silicon vendors including Hisilicon, Qualcomm, ZTE Welink, Sequans communication, Mediatek,  Nordic Semi, Intel and Altair Semiconductor. But as we covered a few days ago, there are also new entrants like Riot Micro.
The list of NB-IoT modules is even longer with:

I just added links to the companies I had never heard from. Some modules were listed on the next slides..

Some extra companies also joined the development ecosystem with devkits, MCU, sensors, or even antennas and batteries especially designed for NB-IoT, and other LPWAN standards.


Finally, another person took over the talk with more practical technical information for makers.

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NB-IoT includes three connection modes: CONNECT while transmitting/receiving data, IDLE, and PSM (Power Saving Mode) where it does not attempt to make any connection for a given time, which depends on your own requirements.

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Power consumption for the three modes is illustrated in the chart above. I could see the scale on the right even during the live event.The company also introduced their NB-IoT Arduino shield with embedded SIM. They also appear to have XBee and mPCIE (USB) NB-IoT modules, again with an eSIM.

The software architecture of AIS NB-IoT platform includes an Arduino library for AIS NB-IoT shield, CoAP protocol, a dashboard, and an API.

Some IoT projects use the REST API (HTTP) or MQTT, but CoAP over UDP is recommended in this case, because it minimizes the amount of data required compared to HTTP, and hence saves power.

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AIS NB-IoT Arduino library and sample code can be found on Github, and works with Arduino 1.8.1 or greater. Next up was time for a demo from an AIS representative showing transmission and reception of data with one base station that was enabled with NB-IoT for the event.

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If you are based in Thailand, it’s now possible to register your interest for AIS NB-IoT Arduino shield that will be sold for 1,990 THB (~$61) and ship on February 14, 2018. The registration page is only opened until December 9th. I was expecting some more details about the kit on that page, but sadly it’s just a form asking for contact details.

It should be noted that only a few base station will work with NB-IoT at first, with connectivity first available in Bangkok around AIS D.C., AIS SC Tower, and Chulalongkorn University, and upcountry close to Chiang Mai Maker Space, Prince of Songkhla University, and Khon Kaen University. Anywhere else and you will likely not be able to connect at least in early 2018.

Finally, we got a demo from a member of the Chiang Mai Maker Club that got an early sample of the Arduino shield, connected it to an Arduino Mega with GPS, and various sensors, and as I understand that retrieved data while flying a drone (TBC).

I talked with AIS a little bit after the event, asking confirmation about initial coverage, and since it’s not exactly free to enable NB-IoT, despite using the same LTE base stations, they will only enable a few as previously mentioned. Considering NB-IoT will only be enabled for the 4-day event at the exhibition center, I suspect they may be recurring fees or royalties that AIS may have to pay to maintain the network.

A Day at Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0

December 6th, 2017 6 comments

The Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0 is now taking place until December 9, and I went there today, as I was especially interested in the scheduled NB-IoT talk and workshop to find out what was the status about LPWA in Thailand. But there are many other activities planned, and if you happen to be in Chiang Main in the next few days, you may want to check out the schedule on the event page or Facebook.

I’m going to go though what I’ve done today to give you a better idea about the event, or even the maker movement in Thailand.

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Booth and activity area should be the same over the 4 days, but the talks, open activity, and workshop will be different each day. Today, people could learn how to solder in the activity area.
The even was not really big with manufacturers/sellers like ThaiEasyElec, INEX, or Gravitech closer to the entrance…


… and slighter higher up in a different zone, companies and makers were showcasing their products or projects. I still managed to spent 5 interesting hours at the event attending to talks and checking out the various projects.

I started my day with a talk entitled “Maker Movement in South East Asia” presented by William Hooi, previously a teacher, who found One Maker Group and setup the first MakerSpace in Singapore, as well as helped introduce the Maker Faire in Singapore in 2012 onwards.


There was three parts to talk with an history of the Maker movement (worldwide), the maker movement in Singapore, and whether Making should be integrated into school curriculum.
He explained at first the government who not know about makers, so it was difficult to get funding, but eventually they jump on the bandwagon, and are now puring money on maker initiative. One thing that surprised me in the talk is that before makers were hidden their hobby, for fear of being mocked by other, for one for one person doing an LED jacket, and another working on an Iron Man suit. The people around them would not understand why they would waste their time on such endeavors, but the Maker Space and Faire helped finding like minded people. Some of the micro:bit boards apparently ended in Singapore, and when I say some, I mean 100,000 units. Another thing that I learned is the concept of “digital retreat for kids” where parents send kids to make things with their hands – for example soldering -, and not use smartphone or tablets at all, since they are already so accustomed to those devices.

One I was done with the talk, I walked around, so I’ll report about some of the interesting project I came across. I may write more detailed posts for some of the items lateron.

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Falling object detection demo using OpenCV on the software side, a webcam connected to…

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ASUS Tinker board to handle fall detection, and an NVIDIA Jetson board for artificial intelligence. If fall is detection an alert to send to the tablet, and the system also interfaces with Xiaomi Mi band 2.

Katunyou has also made a more compact product, still based on Tinker Board, for nursing home, or private home where an elderly may live alone. The person at the stand also organizes Raspberry Pi 3 workshops in Chiang Mai.

I found yet another product based on Raspberry Pi 3 board. SRAN is a network security device made by Global Tech that report threats from devices accessing your network using machine learning.

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Nordic Technology House showcased a magic mirror based on Raspberry Pi 3, and a webcam to detect your dance move, but their actual product shown above is a real-time indoor air monitoring system that report temperature, humidity, CO2 level, and PM 2.5 levels, and come sent alerts via LINE if thresholds are exceeded.

One booth had some drones including the larger one above spraying insecticides for the agriculture market.

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There was also a large about sewing machines, including some smarter one where you can design embroidery in a table before sewing.

There were also a few custom ESP8266 or ESP32 boards, but I forgot to take photos.

The Maker Party is also a good place to go with your want to buy some board or smart home devices.

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Beside Raspberry Pi Zero W / 3, ESP8266 boards and Asus Tinker board seem to be popular items in Thailand. I could also spot Sonoff wireless switch, and an Amazon Dot, although I could confirm only English is supported, no Thai language.

BBC Micro:bit board and accessories can also be bought at the event.


M5Stack modules, and Raspberry Pi 3 Voice Kit were also for sale.

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Books are also available for ESP32, Raspberry Pi 3, IoT, etc… in Thai language.

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But if you can’t read Thai there was also a choice of book in English about RPi, Arduino, Linux for Makers, IoT and so on. I then attended the second talk of the day: “NB-IoT” by AIS, one of the top telco company in Thailand. Speakers included Phuchong Charoensub, IoT Marketing Specialist, and Pornsak Hanvoravongchai, Device Innovation Manager, among others. They went through various part include a presentation of AIS current M2M business, what IoT will change (e.g. brings in statups and makers), some technical details about NB-IoT, and the company offering for makers.

I’ll go into more details in a separate post tomorrow, but if you want to get started the good news is that it’s now possible to pre-order a 1,990 THB Arduino Shield ($61) between December 6-9, and get it shipped on February 14, 2018. NB-IoT connectivity is free for one year, and will then cost 350 Baht (around $10) per year per device. However, there’s a cost to enable NB-IoT on LTE base stations, so AIS will only enable NB-IoT at some universities, and maker spaces, meaning for example, I would most certainly be able to use such kit from home. An AIS representative told me their no roadmap for deployment, it will depend on the business demand for such services.

If you are lucky you may even spot one or two dancing dinosaurs at the event.

Riot Micro RM1000 NB-IoT and eMTC Baseband Chip Unveiled for the Cellular IoT Market

December 5th, 2017 3 comments

Telecommunication providers don’t intend to let newcomers like Sigfox or Semtech (LoRa) get all the fun and money with the Internet of Things, and that’s why LTE Cat M1 (eMTC) and Cat NB1 (NB-IoT) have been standardized.

We have already covered module and silicon vendors products such as U-blox SARA-R4 / SARA-M2 modules, or Mediatek MT2625 SoC supporting the new protocols defined in 3GPP release 13 specifications. U-blox even have a module that supports both NB-IoT and eMTC in a single chip, but they are not alone anymore, as a startup called Riot Micro introduced RM1000 baseband NB-IoT & eMTC chip.

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RM1000 key features & specifications:

  • MCU – ARM Cortex-M0 processor
  • Storage – QSPI Flash interface
  • Connectivity
    • LTE-M Baseband supporting 3GPP Release 13
    • NB-IoT Baseband supporting 3GPP Release 13
    • SIM interface with power control
  • Peripherals
    • Digital data and control interface to popular RFICs (RBDP/DIQ/SPI)
    • 3x UART interfaces
    • General purpose I/O
  • Integrated power management for external components
  • Temperature Range – -40 to +85°C

The MCU core is said to handle LTE-M/NB-IoT L1/L2/L3, IPv4, IPv6, TCP, UDP, SSL protocol stacks, as well as the AT Command stack. The company explains they applied techniques from the “BLE/Wi-Fi architecture to design the chip with cost/power levels characteristic of short-range wireless systems”.

Riot Micro RM1000 is available now in either an 8×8 mm 68-pad QFN package, or a 3.5×3.2 mm WLCSP, and reference designs for evaluation and module design can be provided to customers. More details may be found on the product page.

Categories: Hardware Tags: cellular, IoT, lpwan, lte, riot micro

Mediatek MT2621 Supports Dual Mode NB-IoT and GSM/GPRS for IoT, Wearables, and Industry 4.0

December 1st, 2017 5 comments

Mediatek introduced MT2625 ARM Cortex-M SoC supporting NB-IoT (aka LTE Cat NB1/NB2) compatible with 3GPP Release 14 last summer, and designed for global cellular IoT devices.

The company has now unveiled a new NB-IoT part with Mediatek MT2621 ARM7 dual-mode IoT SoC that is capable of both NB-IoT R14 and GSM/GPRS connectivity for applications such as smart trackers, wearables, IoT security, smart metering and industrial applications. The chip would allow you to start deploying devices with GSM connectivity, and once available in your locale, switch to the more efficient NB-IoT protocol.

Mediatek MT2621 specifications:

  • Processor – Single ARM7 core @ up to 260MHz
  • Memory – 160KB + 4MB PSRAM
  • Internal Flash
  • Connectivity
    • Integrated Baseband, RF, Antenna, and Modem DSP
    • NB-IoT ultra-low/low/mid bands defined by 3GPP Rel-14
    • GSM/GPRS
    • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Display – LCM interface
  • Camera – Camera interface
  • Audio – Audio Amplifier
  • Integrated PMU

Mediatek is really light on details, but still confirms a single SIM and antenna covers both cellular networks (NB-IoT & GSM) with dual standby functionality (SSDS). This will allows a single UICC and mobile number for both networks, “saving PCB space, simplifying design, minimizing cost and speeding time-to-market”.  The company also claims “applications can be built using an easily customizable Linux-based OS”.

You may visit the product page, but you won’t find much there.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

Categories: Hardware, Linux Tags: bluetooth, cellular, IoT, lpwan, lte, mediatek