Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA Modules

Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA Modules

Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA Modules

AirPrime® HL Series supports LTE-M (Cat-M1/eMTC), NB-IoT (Cat-NB1), and 2G global networks in a compact CF3® module for low power IoT applications.

Sierra Wireless today announced the industry’s smallest, lowest power, multi-mode Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) cellular modules targeted at rapidly growing markets in asset tracking and connected industrial equipment, smart city, healthcare, agriculture and wearables.

AirPrime® HL78 modules, featuring Altair Semiconductor’s integrated ALT1250 chipset, deliver best-in-class power performance extending the life of battery operated devices by 5-10X compared to other available LTE-M/NB-IoT modules. This new level of power saving modes, with improved wake-up and sleep mode responsiveness, as well as ultra-low sleep mode power, make HL78 the module of choice for any power-constrained IoT application.

Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, OEM Solutions, Sierra Wireless, said:

“With the HL78 modules, OEMs and system integrators have the most scalable, lowest power module platform to build their global IoT applications on.”

“And to make it even simpler for our customers, we’ve integrated the SIM and cloud, as well as GNSS and security features, to drive down the size of LPWA connected devices while enhancing tamper resistance and security.”

Sierra Wireless Integrates SIM, Security and GNSS into Industry’s Smallest, Lowest Power Multi-Mode LPWA ModulesIn addition to low-power performance unique to the HL78 design, the modules integrate GNSS tracking capability, security and an embedded SIM in a new compact CF3® size (18mm x15mm) that is pin-to-pin compatible with other HL Series modules. Customers have the flexibility to deploy the same device on global LTE-M (Cat-M1/eMTC) and NB-IoT (Cat-NB1) networks, with support for more than 20 LTE frequency bands in addition to optional 2G fallback.

Built-in security, including HTTPS, secure socket, secure boot and free unlimited firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates from the AirVantage® device management IoT Platform, helps customers ensure HL78 deployments are future proof and secure.

“More than 690 million LTE-M and NB-IoT connected devices are expected by 2022, and the market needs a low-power, compact embedded module to connect their industrial, smart city, smart home and simpler static sensor applications,” said Dan Shey, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research. “With the addition of the HL78 product line, Sierra Wireless has amassed a broad portfolio of low power devices to drive the billions of advanced IoT connections we expect in the next decade.”

LTE-M and NB-IoT LPWA networks deliver a new class of wireless technology specifically designed for low-power IoT applications [see infographic here-below]. LPWA technologies combine lower cost, broader coverage and better battery life with globally available and secure cellular networks ready to connect hundreds of millions more things to the Internet.

“The ability to switch seamlessly between any commercially deployed LTE-M or NB-IoT frequency band gives HL78 customers the flexibility to choose which network they want to deploy their low bandwidth application on. And for those regions where LPWAN coverage is not as widely available, optional 2G fallback ensures their devices stay online,” said Ilan Reingold, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing at Altair Semiconductor (A Sony Group Company). “Incorporating Altair’s advanced IoT chipset, HL78 devices will also enjoy an extended life of up to 15 years on a single battery.”

Availability

The AirPrime HL78 modules are fully compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 standard and are Release-14-ready to support NB2 features in the future. Sierra Wireless AirPrime HL and WP Series modules are the smallest embedded modules to be completely interchangeable across 2G, 3G, 4G and LPWA technologies. They use the CF3® form factor, which is footprint compatible across product lines, providing customers with the option to develop smarter by building their connected IoT product or service on a single module. HL7800 and HL7802 modules are sampling with lead customers now, with general availability in Q3 2018.

Infographic: What is LPWA?

Sierra Wireless LPWA infographic

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Riot starts with a claim to industry’s lowest power NB-IoT and eMTC baseband chip

Internet of Things (IoT) newcomer, Riot Micro is claiming that a radical design approach applying BLE/Wi-Fi architecture has delivered a new cellular IoT solution with cost/power levels that are characteristic of short-range wireless systems. Here Peter Wong, CEO, tells  Jeremy Cowan how Riot has reinvented itself as an IoT chipset maker.

Semiconductor start-ups are rare things these days. But Vancouver, Canada-based Riot Micro has made its IoT market debut with what it claims is the industry’s lowest power baseband modem chip for cellular IoT.

The company began life a decade ago working on LTE IP technology to licence to the general market. Then three years ago, in search of faster growth Riot changed direction and brought in Peter Wong as CEO. “We retooled and refinanced,” he tells IoT Now, “grew to about 30 people, and developed a chip for cellular IoT, based on LTE NB1 and eMTC specifications.”

Peter Wong, Riot Micro’s CEO

“Why IoT?” we ask.

“Because that’s where the majority of growth was. If you look at other cellular technologies – you know Cat 3, 4 , 5, 6 – as you go higher and higher for the smartphones and tablets of the world it gets harder and harder for a start-up to compete realistically. The key differentiators are integration and powerful processors with Snapdragons etc., and going up against the Qualcomms of the world didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” says Wong.

“When the standards started to evolve for M2M (machine-to-machine communications) it looked like there could be a significant inflexion point where the requirements changed significantly and where processor technology was not the King of the Game. It was about optimising for more performance and lower power, and of course much, much lower cost.”

“Cost being a huge factor in services with low ARPUs (average revenues per user),” IoT Now suggests.

“Exactly. That drove why we formed the team that we did. LTE is a relatively sophisticated protocol and technology relative to other wireless technologies like BLE and WiFi. But when you break it right down and look at NB1 and eMTC we felt there was a ton of simplification you could do technically and implementatikon-wise and speed-wise. When you’re driving 200kbps or even 1Mb you can take certain design approaches that are extremely power-efficient and really help drive the cost down. The memory is an example. We optimised the LTE protocol stack so that it only does NB1 and MTC. We could minimise the amount of memory required. Our protocol stack operates entirely within the memory within our chip.”

So the Riot Micro RM1000 has been built using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi architecture techniques to deliver a cellular IoT solution with the low power and cost levels of short-range wireless systems. The RM1000 is now being offered to module manufacturers and OEMs designing narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and eMTC systems that can include automotive, asset management, home automation, industrial, point-of-sale, smart energy, and vending applications.

Asked who the company sees as its key rivals, Peter Wong tells IoT Now it would be […]

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u-blox Announces Industry’s Lowest Power GNSS SiP Targeting Small Battery Powered Devices

u-blox Announces Industry's Lowest Power GNSS SiP Targeting Small Battery Powered Devices

u-blox today announced the latest member of its ZOE-M8 series of ultra-small GNSS SiPs.

The ZOE-M8B is industry’s most power efficient GNSS System-in-Package (SiP) available for small battery powered consumer devices. It combines superior performance with ultra-low power to deliver an optimized solution for portable and wearable devices targeting the fitness, health monitoring, and personal tracker markets.

Small battery powered devices are defined by their limited size, weight and power, which dictates that any GNSS solution targeting this application space must provide exceptional performance while consuming minimal system resources. The ZOE-M8B has been designed for this class of ultra-low-power applications, where size and power are critical parameters. The ZOE-M8B consumes 25 mW on average in most environments (including urban), and as little as 12 mW during instantaneous tracking. This is a three-fold improvement in power efficiency when compared with other variants in the ZOE-M8 series.

“The ZOE-M8B SiP offers the best trade-off between power consumption and location accuracy,” said Uffe Pless, Product Manager Positioning at u-blox.

“This will enable manufacturers to develop entirely new battery powered devices that integrate GNSS functionality, without comprising performance or the user experience.”

This combination of ultra-low-power operation and high performance is thanks to u-blox’s proprietary Super-E mode of operation, which automatically adjusts the power consumed by the system components based on the external conditions.

The footprint of a design with a chip and individual external components is about 50% larger than the PCB footprint of the ZOE-M8B. Measuring just 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.0 mm, the ZOE-M8B integrates a GNSS receiver, TCXO, SAW and LNA in a single package, making it easy to add accurate location and positioning functionality to almost any device.

The ZOE-M8B is the latest addition to the ZOE-M8 GNSS module family, which consists of the ZOE-M8G for 1.8 volt powered devices and the ZOE-M8Q for 3.0 volt devices, both focusing on maximum accuracy.

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KYOCERA Launches Lowest Cost IoT Service in Japan in Partnership with SIGFOX

KYOCERA Launches Lowest Cost IoT Service in Japan in Partnership with SIGFOX

New LPWA service is now available in Tokyo, to be rolled out nationwide by 2020 and will contribute to the advent of a safer and more comfortable society.

Kyocera Corporation announced today that its subsidiary, Kyocera Communication Systems Co., Ltd. (KCCS) has started providing Internet of Things (IoT) network services in Japan based on the Sigfox global IoT network.

The service is now available in Tokyo, Kawasaki City, Yokohama City and Osaka City, to be further planned for Japan’s 36 major cities by early 2018 and nationwide by 2020 with an annual sales target of JPY10 billion by FY2021.

The IoT market continues to grow worldwide with the number of connected devices estimated to reach around 53 billion by 20201. However, there continue to be barriers to mass adoption for use in locations with no electric power source, especially for applications such as sensors with extremely low data volumes. In order to address those issues, KCCS is deploying the Sigfox LPWA (low power wide area) network which brings a breakthrough IoT solution with the lowest costs and longest battery life — two barriers to entry for many companies in Japan seeking to leverage mass IoT.

This partnership marks the first availability of the Sigfox network in the fast-growing Japanese market, which is the third largest IoT market in the world behind the U.S. and China2.

Kyocera Sigfox partnership

KCCS has formed partnerships with around 70 companies from various fields such as device makers and IoT service providers. The Sigfox network will target the following IoT services and applications in Japan:

  • Utilities: Remote meter reading and water leakage detection
  • Retail: Remote monitoring for vending machine repair and restocking
  • Environmental: Monitoring for temperature, precipitation, wind, and river levels
  • Logistics & Transportation: Container, pallet and chassis location information management
  • Assets: Tracking and tracing rental equipment in case of loss or theft
  • Medical: mHealth applications such as data collection and monitoring, and monitoring of the elderly, children and pets
  • Agricultural: Monitoring of greenhouse temperature and humidity, soil condition monitoring and machinery management

Case Studies

The service has already made an impact in Japan with a variety of applications deployed or currently being tested.

Smart Parking System with OPTEX Company Limited

  • Coin-operated parking spaces in Tokyo use smart vehicle detection sensors connected by Sigfox.
  • Each parking space has OPTEX’s vehicle detection sensor, “ViiK,” to directly notify the cloud server of its usage and vacancy.
  • Eliminating work associated with trenching and cabling underground, the parking management system can be installed with less cost and less time.

Temperature Monitoring with Ai-Cynap Co., Ltd.

  • Temperature monitoring case study of home delivery pizza chain operated by Strawberry Cones. Especially, the temperature of refrigeration and freezer facilities and working space are monitored.
  • By performing the temperature monitoring more closely, it becomes possible to maintain higher food quality.
  • Temperature data, such as pizza dough, is sent to the cloud every 15 minutes and monitored with a special application.
1 White Paper 2015 on Japan’s Information and Communications featuring “Past, Present and Future of ICT” published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
2 Machina Research

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