Qualcomm’s First NB-IoT-Only Chipset Expands and Focuses Its IoT Strategy

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By Jamie Moss | 2Q 2020 | IN-5823


Integrate to Simplify


Qualcomm is launching its first Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT)-only chipset, the 212 LTE IoT modem, and claims it will be the most power-efficient cellular Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) chipset seen to date. The 212 LTE IoT modem integrates onto a single die the NB-IoT baseband processor, Random Access Memory (RAM), Power Manager (PM), Power Amplifier (PA), and Radio Frequency Front End (RFFE) transceiver. It is being pushed as effectively a System on Chip (SOC) product. With a purported total of 32 components, compared to the claimed 120 to 150 components used by competing chipsets, Qualcomm is cutting complexity to maximally reduce cost, size, and power consumption. The 212 LTE IoT modem will measure 10 mm square and will begin sampling in the second half of 2020.

A key feature of the new 212 LTE IoT modem is that its baseband processor uses a Cortex M3. Its peak clock speed is intentionally limited to a mere 200 MHz for the sake of cost but, innovatively, 80 MHz of headroom is exclusively budgeted for running third-party Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) applications, to tailor the…

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