IMEC demos multi-standard radio for IoT

May 29, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
sub-gigahertz radio
IMEC has developed a low-power wide-area (LPWA) multi-standard radio chip for use in Internet of Things applications and that supports both the Lora and SigFox networks.

The CMOS radio operates in the ISM band at 780MHz to 930MHz making it suitable for US, European and Japanese markets and will support the coming IoT Narrow-band proposal coming from the 3GPP organization (NB-IoT).

When compared with established IoT radios IMEC claims its device can cut power consumption by better than a factor of four at the same range and more than halve the bill of materials cost by requiring fewer passives.

Comparison of IMEC multistandard RF with established commercial chips. Source: IMEC.

The chip can have a range of tens of kilometers depending on line of sight and other variables, said Kathleen Philips, program director of perceptive systems at IMEC. The chip has been tested for 802.15.4g and the RF front-end supports W-MBUS, KNX-RF and 802.15.4k.

The radio is implemented as a complete System-on-Chip (SoC) including the RF front end, power management, an ARM processor, 160kbytes of SRAM and peripherals like SPI, I2C and UART. It is suitable for applications in smart metering, smart home, smart city and infrastructure monitoring. The PA features automatic ramp-up and ramp-down for ARIB spectral mask compliancy. The output power is controllable from <-40dBm up to 15dBm.

"With the foreseen release of the NB-IoT protocol in June 2016 by the 3GPP, it is clear that protocols such as NB-IoT, SigFox and LoRA are here to stay for the coming years," said Philips, in a statement.

Related links and articles:

www.imec.be

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