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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ZTE subsidiary Sanechips launches low power cellular chip - update

By Nick Flaherty

A new name is about to hit the embedded market from China, with the first chip launched in September.

Sanechips Technology is the renamed ZTE Microelectronics Technology, the chip arm of the telecoms giant ZTE. The company has launched a narrowband IoT chip called RoseFinch7100 for long-life, low-cost cellular connectivity. The chip was launched in September (see update below).
RoseFinch uses the CEVA-X1 IoT Processor and an early version of the chip was used in the first large scale field test of NB-IoT organised by China Mobile. This tested the network of the entire mobile chain including core network, terminals and apps.

"NB-IoT is set to dominate long range IoT connectivity on a global scale, and Sanechips is proud to be at the forefront of this revolution," said Zhou Jin, Marketing director of Sanechips. The company has 3000 patents and more than 2000 employees located at 9 R&D centres globally in China, Canada and the US with a full roadmap of cloud and device designs.

Lauanch update: The chip is built in SMIC's 55nm ULP+RF+eFlash process and the nominal operating voltage can be lowered 30%, reducing dynamic power consumption by 45% and static power by 70% as well as lowering the SRAM leakage. The sleep power is 2uA which accounts for 16% of its total power consumption while sending and receiving message once per day. In addition, RoseFinch7100 uses single chip design with minimum peripherals and supports R14 full band with integrated cloud-chip security performance as well as open application architecture.

"Closely collaborating with CEVA ensures we develop best-in-class products like the RoseFinch7100 that will enable mass market adoption of this technology. The CEVA-X1 IoT processor delivers exceptional performance within the stringent power and cost constraints of NB-IoT devices."

"We are delighted to announce our collaboration with Sanechips for their NB-IoT chipset designs," said Michael Boukaya, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Business Unit at CEVA. "As the only end-to-end DSP provider for cellular, we ensure our CEVA-X1 processor meets and exceeds the performance requirements of NB-IoT. This license deal with Sanechips represents a strong endorsement of our IoT processor for this new and exciting market."

The RoseFinch7100 will be released in September 2017 with lower sleep current of 2uA and a voltage of 2V for longer battery life, supporting up to 30 GPIOs and all R14 Frequency Bands with no need for an external microcontroller as the CEVA-X1 hybrid DSP and microcontroller handles both the control and wireless functions.

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