Qualcomm is looking to make LTE as ubiquitous as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in IoT devices with the unveiling of a new chipset.
Its latest MDM9x07 modem chipset has been tuned for IoT usage. Normally LTE can be a drain on battery life as the technology is used to download lots of data from videos, games and apps. However, the advantage that LTE does have over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is its range.
This range could be of use in wide range of use cases including in smart cities, commercial applications and industrial designs. These uses include smart energy & metering, building security, infrastructure, industrial control and automation, retail point of sale, asset tracking, medical, lighting and aftermarket telematics.
Qualcomm modems offer power and flexibility
The Snapdragon X5 LTE modem (9×07) with All Mode capability, supports LTE Category 4 download speeds up to 150 Mbps. The MDM9207-1 modem offers LTE Category 1 support for up to 10 Mbps on the downlink, power save mode (PSM) and up to 10 years of battery life from two AA batteries.
The firm said the modems were designed to be compatible with major cellular standards across the globe, and include Linux OS support, ARM Cortex A7 processor, pre-integrated support for Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO technology, Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth Low Energy, and integrated GNSS.
“Our LTE modems for IoT allow us to bring customers the power and flexibility of the same modem core technology already launched in hundreds of millions of devices globally so that they can address a broad range of commercial and industrial applications where wide area cellular connectivity adds a tremendous benefit,” said Serge Willenegger, senior vice president, product management of Qualcomm Technologies.
“Our momentum demonstrates the widespread acceptance of our LTE IoT solutions in many fast growing IoT areas, as we help make industries around the world more connected, efficient and sustainable than ever before.”
The MDM9206 modem, featuring a purpose-built IoT design and offering even lower power consumption and longer range supports LTE eMTC (Category M1) and NB-IoT (Category NB-1) modes.
3GPP leads the way
Philipe Guillemette, CTO at Sierra Wireless, told Internet of Business that 3GPP LTE-Machine Type Communications (LTE-MTC) LPWA technology stands out as a leader.
“LTE-MTC is slated for commercial availability in the second half of 2017. It includes two technologies, the first already ratified in march-2016 is named cat-M1, the second one, named cat-M2 (or NB-IoT, the exact naming is still in discussion) will be ratified in June-2016. They both have the benefit of being a very simple update of the network infrastructure (cat-M1 being a software-only update) hence very fast deployment is expected as no new cell towers are needed,” he said.
Commercial IoT devices based on the Snapdragon X5 (9×07) and MDM9207-1 LTE modems are available today with others expected to continue shipping. Module OEMs are expected to launch MDM9206-based Cat M1 capable modules in early 2017.