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Monday, October 22, 2018

Silicon Labs teams with Digi for LTE-M IoT module

By Nick Flaherty

Silicon Labs has teamed up with Digi for an LTE-M expansion kit around the XBee3 pre-certified cellular modem.
The LTE-M expansion kit works with Silicon Labs’ EFM32 Giant Gecko 11 starter kit to simplify the development of gateways and end devices that operate in deep-sleep mode and require extended battery life. The kit is aimed at agricultural, asset tracking, smart energy and smart city IoT applications.

“Together, Silicon Labs and Digi International are dedicated to connecting people, networks and ‘things’ with best-in-class IoT and M2M technologies,” said Matt Johnson, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IoT products at Silicon Labs. “We’ve collaborated with Digi to deliver flexible LTE-M cellular connectivity capabilities, enabling cloud-connected applications that are remote, on the go and ready to deploy.”

“The jointly developed LTE-M expansion kit works with Silicon Labs’ starter kits to accelerate development by quickly enabling cellular IoT connectivity and avoiding costly cellular device certifications,” said Mark Tekippe, Director of Product Management, Digi International. “Digi XBee3 cellular modems and Silicon Labs Gecko MCUs are an ideal pairing to deliver seamless cloud connectivity with ultra-low power capabilities. The pre-certified Digi XBee3 cellular modem is easy to configure and provides secure, flexible out-of-box connectivity over LTE-M and NB-IoT networks.”

“LTE-M is a great option for LPWAN applications that require a combination of long battery life, LTE reliability and low latency. LTE-M is compatible with existing LTE networks and in the future will coexist with 5G technologies,” added Mike Krell, Head of IoT Strategy, J. Brehm & Associates. “Vendors offering easy-to-use development tools to accelerate LTE-M solutions will be well-positioned for growth in the cellular IoT market.”

Developers can take advantage of the development tools including the Digi Remote Manager, Silicon Labs’ Energy Profiler and pre-programmed demos. The XBee3 is certified on AT&T and Verizon cellular networks. Using the XBee allows for easy migration to NB-IoT as well as the XBee API frames, MicroPython and XCTU software tools to simplify development and Digi TrustFence for integrated device security, identity and data privacy.

The LTE-M expansion kit and EFM32 Giant Gecko 11 starter kit (SLSTK3701A) are available now, and both are priced at $99. 

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