Power Efficient LTE Wireless from Qualcomm for the Internet of Things

30th August 2016

Qualcomm has recently announced the introduction of its new MDM9207-1 chipset, an LTE modem solution that is designed to support reliable, global cellular connectivity on modern LTE networks for a growing array of connected products and systems.

Their MDM9207-1 is purpose-built for Internet-of-Things applications, targeting growing IoT application areas such as smart metering, security, asset tracking, wearables and industrial automation.

Many of these applications require constantly available, reliable and power-efficient connections to Internet and cloud services that are mobile and ubiquitous, and LTE connectivity delivers this.

With category 1 LTE connectivity, the MDM9207-1 offers multi-mode and multi-band support for global compatibility and interoperability with legacy networks in countries where LTE deployment has been slower, as well as an on-board application processor and many other valuable features.

It offers device makers, system integrators and developers a mature modem platform that features industry-leading 3G/4G LTE multimode and multiband support, and it’s designed to support connections on all major cellular networks worldwide.

Furthermore, LTE extends the communications range that devices are capable of, well beyond the limited range of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to an effectively unlimited range – and this new chipset does this without the high power consumption of some older cellular modems.

Final device size is not forgotten, as the MDM9207-1 has advanced power saving features for devices that are persistently connected, as well as for those that require less frequent wake-up and communication with the network.m2m

It features a powerful application processor capable of running applications under Linux, GPS positioning and location services, and advanced security and authentication features, all in a highly integrated package that reduces component count, bill-of-materials cost, design complexity, size and integration time.

The platform includes support for LTE Category 1, with up to 10 Mbps downlink and 5 Mbps uplink speeds, with LTE multimode or single-mode capability and dual or single receive, and all modern cellular standards are implemented, including LTE FDD, LTE TDD, DC-HSPA, GSM and TD-SCDMA.

There is also support for voice communication to be integrated, via VoLTE (Voice over LTE) or CSFB (Circuit Switched Fall Back). Qualcomm is designing its IoT cellular products to support many LTE standards across worldwide markets, which is a challenge, since countries such as China typically use different LTE standards than the ones used in the U.S. and Europe, for example.

The MDM9207-1 chipset features a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex M7 application processor built in – capable of running Linux to host user applications, providing powerful application capabilities without any need to add extra hardware or BOM cost.

The platform also features a power-save mode that can enable up to 10 years of battery life from a pair of AA batteries (in certain embedded sensor applications), advanced hardware and software security features built-in, and integrated GPS/Glonass support. Pre-integrated support for easily adding both Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1 and Qualcomm’s VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi is also provided.

This solution is designed to be flexible, scalable, cost-optimized and energy efficient – purpose-built to meet the needs of IoT applications. It features scalable, reusable software across different chipset platforms, reducing design complexity, cost and time to market for your IoT solution.

Device makers and developers can reduce their time-to-market for IoT products, as well as reducing development costs, by utilizing a single software code base across all implementations of this flexible chipset family. The same core modem technology is already deployed in millions of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets around the world, so unifying around a single, consistent code base has a lot of value.

The MDM9207-1 is designed to minimize the need for additional discrete processors or microcontrollers, cellular radio or GPS chips, replacing all these separate components with one feature-packed integrated chipset. This reduces the bill-of-materials cost, makes manufacturing easier – and makes finished devices smaller.

In time, it’s likely that we’ll see complete cellular sensor network solutions where a suite of sensors are integrated alongside the single-chip MDM9207-1 providing cellular connectivity and an application processor – possibly even, in time, the integration of the entire sensor node onto a single chip.

Many cellular network operators around the world are already in the process of phasing out their 2G networks to make room for LTE, but LTE is here for the “long run”, and embedded devices built with LTE cellular connectivity are likely to remain working, with a network provider, many years down the track.

While LTE networks are already relatively mature in North America, parts of Asia, and Europe, the multimode capability of the MDM9207-1 platform is designed to allow customers to seamlessly and cost-effectively connect their devices to both LTE as well as legacy networks. This is particularly important in Australia, and in many other countries, where LTE network support may not be as widespread or mature, but future-proof LTE products and infrastructure can be rolled out now and used right now on 3G/4G networks.

As you can imagine, this chipset offers a neat platform for your Internet of Things product . However, the choice of hardware and software for your next Internet of Things product can be a challenge for the inexperienced or time-challenged. Instead of letting your ideas fail due lack of knowledge or slow development cycles – we can take your idea from thoughts to a final product.

Here at the LX Group we have the systems in both hardware and software to make your IoT vision a success. We have end-to-end experience and demonstrated results in the entire process of IoT product development, and we’re ready to help bring your existing or new product ideas to life. Getting started is easy – click here to contact us, telephone 1800 810 124, or just keep in the loop by connecting here.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in IoT embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisPower Efficient LTE Wireless from Qualcomm for the Internet of Things

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