Qualcomm Launches New NB2 IoT Chipset

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  • The 212 LTE IoT modem requires less than 1uA of sleep current and is compatible with IoT devices using a power supply as low as 2.2 volts
  • Qualcomm is also launching a software development kit (SDK) for the device

Qualcomm has launched a new Internet of Things (IoT) chipset designed for low-power devices and applications. The company claimed that this 212 LTE IoT modem, a single-mode NB2 (NB-IoT) chipset is the “world’s most power-efficient” Narrowband (NB2) chipset. The Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT modem will be made commercially available in the second half of 2020. It also said that the 212 modem requires less than 1uA of sleep current and is compatible with IoT devices using a power supply as low as 2.2 volts.

Vieri Vanghi, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Europe, Inc said, “The Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem will help usher in a new era for a range of IoT applications around the globe, especially those requiring connectivity deep within buildings combined with low power use, like battery-powered IoT devices that need to operate for 15 years or longer in the field. Its ultra-low power consumption, compact form factor, and low cost will greatly benefit OEMs creating the next generation of low-power IoT devices.”

3.2 billion cellular IoT connections in 2024

According to data from the GSMA, the world will see 3.2 billion cellular IoT connections in 2024. Qualcomm said that the chipset suitable for endpoint devices that must rely on batteries. To support a wide range of batteries and longer life span of the device in the field, the modem couples ultra-low system-level cut-off voltage with provisions for adapting power usage according to varying source power levels.

Cameron Coursey, vice president, advanced solutions, AT&T said, “The expansion of low-power wide-area networks around the world is opening the door to massive IoT use cases and applications that weren’t possible or practical before. We’re aiming to make that easier for our customers – through access to the world’s largest NB-IoT footprint and through a leading-edge modem and chipset portfolio. The Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem will help unlock new possibilities for enterprises on NB-IoT networks through efficiencies in cost, power usage and form factor. We look forward to validating the chipset for the AT&T network.”

ARM Cortex M3 processor

The Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT chipset includes a modem baseband, an ARM Cortex M3 processor (204 Mhz), memory, RF transceiver with an RF front end, and power management components. The RF frequency bands span from 700MHz to 2.1GHz and the modem helps LTE modules below 100 square millimeters in size. It also supports single-mode 3GPP Release 14 Cat. NB2 IoT connectivity.

Andreas Haegele, vice president, IoT, Thales said, “Gemalto, a Thales company, relies on Qualcomm Technologies’ cutting-edge LTE modems to provide its Cinterion IoT modules with the best-in-class connectivity capabilities,” said Andreas Haegele, vice president, IoT, Thales. “The world-leading power efficiency potential offered by Qualcomm Technologies’ new Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem is a very exciting breakthrough. We are thrilled about the opportunity to expand our portfolio and offer our customers innovative next generation IoT solutions.”

Integrated support for cloud platforms

Qualcomm is also launching a software development kit (SDK) for the device. This will permit developers to create and run custom software on the chipset. It also includes pre-integrated support for cloud platforms including the Microsoft Azure IoT SDK.

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