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Friday, June 28, 2019

Telit launches two modules for massive 5G narrowband IoT rollout

By Nick Flaherty

Telit has launched two modules designed for mass-scale LTE-M and NB-IoT deployments that feature hundreds of thousands or millions of devices. 

Based on the new Qualcomm 9205 LTE modem and featuring optional 2G fallback, the ME310G1 and ME910G1 modules also provide a future-proof foundation for IoT deployments that span legacy networks, 4G and 5G. 
The ME310G1 and ME910G1 are the first 3GPP Release 14 additions to the Telit portfolio and the first members of Telit’s new series based on the Qualcomm 9205 LTE IoT Modem, which was announced in late 2018. The highly compact chipset enables Telit to meet booming global demand for ultra-small modules for applications such as wearable medical devices, fitness trackers and industrial sensors.

The new modules are ideal for battery-powered applications via improved features such as Power Saving Mode (PSM) and extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX), which periodically wakes up the device to transmit only the smallest amounts of data necessary before returning to sleep mode. Both modules also ensure reliable indoor connections, with a maximum coupling loss of up to +15dB/+20dB for superior in-building penetration compared to earlier LTE standards.

“With the new ME310G1 and ME910G1, Telit once again enables IoT developers, providers and their customers to take advantage of the latest and greatest technologies—in this case the new Qualcomm 9205 LTE IoT modem and 3GPP Release 14, supporting Cat M1 and NB2” said Manish Watwani, chief marketing and product officer, Telit. “The ME310G1 is extremely optimized in size, and both the ME310G1 and ME910G1 are highly optimized for affordability, power efficiency, performance, and future-proofing, making them the ideal foundation for mass-scale IoT deployments that need to remain in service for a decade or longer.”

“Qualcomm Technologies provides the cutting-edge connectivity and compute technologies that enable a massive volume and range of connected devices,” said Jeffery Torrance, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are proud to work with Telit as they continue to offer exciting new products that drive the Internet of Things forward and lay the foundation for the connected 5G world.”

The multi-band ME310G1 and ME910G1 are available in versions with 2G fallback for use in areas where LTE-M/NB-IoT service is yet to be deployed. These versions also support GSM voice and will support VoLTE for applications that require the ability to make phone calls.

The ME910G1 is the latest member of Telit’s best-selling xE910 and family. The ME910G1 is also a drop-in replacement in existing devices based on the family’s modules for 2G, 3G and the various categories of LTE. With Telit’s design-once-use-anywhere philosophy, developers can cut costs and development time by simply designing for the xE910 LGA common form factor, giving them the freedom to deploy technologies best suited for the application’s environment.

The ME310G1 LTE-only variant is less than 200 mm2 and variant with 2G fallback is less than 300mm2 and they enable enterprises to deploy new small footprint designs across many application areas including asset tracking, health-care monitoring, smart metering, portable devices, industrial sensors, home automation, and others that benefit from low-power and low-data rate capabilities. The xE310 family’s flexible perimeter footprint includes pin-to-pin compatible 2G and 4G modules, enabling integrators to design a single PCB layout and deploy a combination of technologies.

ME310G1 and ME910G1 samples are now available. Mass production begins in late 2019 and Q1 2020, depending on the product version.
Related NB-IoT stories 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Doubling power density of lithium batteries and solid state cells ... Siemens sells of electric aircraft motor business

Power news this week by Nick Flaherty at eeNews Europe

. Siemens sells electric aircraft propulsion business to Rolls-Royce

. Pure electric cars to accelerate the demise of plug-in hybrids

. Schneider Electric launches its first US smart factory

. Carbon nanotubes breakthrough doubles energy density of batteries

. Imec doubles energy density of solid state battery


. 800V boost for bus converter module

. Encapsulated AC-DC power supply series for PCB mounting

. 650W modular AC-DC power supply shrinks in size


. NI-Key Considerations for Powertrain HIL Test

. Forward or Flyback? Which is Better?

. Rapid generation of LDO variants

Raspberry Pi 4 boosts performance Bluetooth 5 and 4K video

By Nick Flaherty

The Raspberry Pi 4 has gone on sale, offering a range of memory options.

The $35 board has a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU from Broadcom, the BCM2711, providing three times the performance of the previous version, with 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM. There is full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet with dual-band 802.11ac wireless networking and Bluetooth 5.0 as well as two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports.
There is dual monitor support at resolutions up to 4K with VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x, 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video and complete compatibility with earlier Raspberry Pi products.

The 1GB costs $35, with the 2GB at $45 and 4GB for $55. This is the first time that the raspberry Pi Foundation has offered different memory option.

The form factor has been updated with USB-C for the power connector that  supports an extra 500mA of current, ensuring  a full 1.2A for downstream USB devices, even under heavy CPU load.

To accommodate dual display output within the existing board footprint, the type-A (full-size) HDMI connector has been replaced with a pair of type-D (micro) HDMI connectors. The Gigabit Ethernet magjack has moved to the top right of the board, from the bottom right, greatly simplifying PCB routing. The 4-pin Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connector remains in the same location, so Raspberry Pi 4 remains compatible with the PoE HAT.

The Ethernet controller on the main SoC is connected to an external Broadcom PHY over a dedicated RGMII link, providing full throughput. USB is provided via an external VLI controller, connected over a single PCI Express Gen 2 lane, and providing a total of 4Gbps of bandwidth, shared between the four ports.

All three connectors on the right-hand side of the board overhang the edge by an additional millimetre, with the aim of simplifying case design. In all other respects, the connector and mounting hole layout remains the same, ensuring compatibility with existing HATs and other accessories.

The board has a radically overhauled operating system, based on the forthcoming Debian 10 Buster release. This brings numerous behind-the-scenes technical improvements, along with an extensively modernised user interface, and updated applications including the Chromium 74 web browser. 

One notable step forward is that for Raspberry Pi 4 the legacy graphics driver stack used on previous models has been retired. Instead, the Mesa “V3D” driver developed by Eric Anholt at Broadcom over the last five years provides OpenGL-accelerated web browsing and desktop composition, and the ability to run 3D applications in a window under X. It also eliminates roughly half of the lines of closed-source code in the platform.

Connector and form-factor changes bring with them a requirement for new accessories. Kinneir Dufort and manufacturers T-Zero have developed an all-new two-part case, priced at $5.

Good, low-cost USB-C power supplies (and USB-C cables) are surprisingly hard to find, so Ktec has developed a suitable 5V/3A power supply; this is priced at $8, and is available in UK (type G), European (type C), North American (type A) and Australian (type I) plug formats.

Altair shows first NB-IoT at 450MHz using connected tractors

By Nick Flaherty

Altair Semiconductor has shown the first implementation of LTE CAT-M/NB-IoT running at 450MHz, giving lower power and longer range.
The ALT1250 chipset is powering the Asiatelco LM66 IoT module, which provides LTE connectivity for a range of connected devices, and has been developed to provide agricultural solutions for large-scale farming in Brazil.

Operating on the 450 MHz LTE spectrum and using Ericsson's LTE eNBs, Altair's cellular IoT chipset enables agricultural companies using smart sensors and connected tractors applications to optimize farming practices. The solution uses location tracking, driver behaviour monitoring, and fuel consumption optimization.
“Altair is looking to revolutionize cellular IoT connectivity across Brazil. The solution was field tested and demonstrated the potential of 450 MHz’s frequency reach in agriculture use cases. It will certainly enable an exciting range of transformative applications in rural areas”, said Paulo Bernardocki, Head of Solutions Radio, Ericsson LATAM South.

Altair's highly integrated dual-mode cellular IoT chipset, ALT1250, is the only available CAT-M and NB-IoT solution trialed to run on 450 MHz. The chipset supports Global LTE bands within a single hardware design and supports both satellite and cellular positioning tracking. The Altair-powered LM66 modules are capable of connecting and delivering data over the LTE450 network as well.

"There's a global trend resulting in a significant amount of 450 MHz spectrum being re-allocated for new use cases on LTE450 networks, as legacy 2G and 3G networks are being retired," said Igor Tovberg, Altair's Director of Product Marketing. "450 MHz is ideal for agricultural IoT applications, providing superior network coverage essential for the wide and often remote farming locations that exist in Brazil."

Altair is part of the Sony Group following its acquisition in early 2016.

Related NB-IoT stories:

Friday, June 07, 2019

First platform certified for 5nm design at Samsung

By Nick Flaherty

Samsung Electronics has certified the Synopsys Fusion Design Platform for its 5nm Low-Power Early (LPE) process with Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology. 

The AI-enhanced, cloud-ready Fusion Design Platform certified with the 64bit Arm Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors, which are based on the Armv8 architecture. This is a full flow for the next wave of semiconductor designs, including high-performance computing (HPC), automotive, 5G, and artificial intelligence (AI) market segments.

"Through our 7-nanometer product shipment and the successful completion of 5-nanometer process development, we've proven our capabilities in EUV-based nodes. Using the Synopsys Fusion Design Platform, our mutual customers will be able to design the most competitive 5LPE SoC products for the full entitled performance and low power applications," said JY Choi, vice president of Foundry Design Technology Team at Samsung Electronics. "Synopsys continues to be our vendor of choice for collaboration on new node development and enablement, so our foundry customers can confidently ramp their designs to volume production in all market segments, including automotive, AI, high-performance computing, and mobile."
The platform includes the Fusion Compiler RTL-to-GDSII Solution, along with IC Compiler II place-and-route with EUV single-exposure-based routing with optimized 5LPE design rule support, single fin variant-aware legalization, and via stapling to ensure maximum utilization while minimizing dynamic power

It also includes Design Compiler Graphical and Design Compiler NXT RTL synthesis for correlation, congestion reduction, pin access-aware optimization, 5LPE design rule support, and physical guidance for IC Compiler II 

The IC Validator physical signoff is a cloud-optimized physical signoff including DRC, LVS, and Fill. Innovative Explorer DRC and Live DRC technologies for enhanced productivity, while PrimeTime timing signoff provides near-threshold ultra-low voltage variation modeling, via variation modeling, and placement rule-aware engineering change order (ECO) guidance

StarRC parasitic extraction provides the EUV single pattern-based routing support, and new extraction technologies, such as coverage-based via resistance and vertical gate resistance modeling while an ANSYS RedHawk-driven EM/IR analysis and optimization within place-and-route.

For test, the TestMAX DFT and TestMAX ATPG test provide FinFET-based, cell-aware, and slack-based transition testing for higher test quality. Formality equivalence checking provides UPF-based equivalence checking with state transition verification

The platform is in active production usage at market-leading companies. The AI-enhanced platform boosts designer productivity by speeding up computation-intensive analyses and uses past learning to improve the results. It runs on major public cloud providers' and Synopsys-hosted infrastructure.

"Our long and successful collaboration with Samsung Foundry has enabled our mutual customers to adopt Synopsys' market-leading solutions early, certified on Samsung's most advanced node," said Sassine Ghazi, general manager of Synopsys' Design Group. "Combining the 5LPE benefits in power, performance, and gate density with the Synopsys Fusion Design Platform QoR and TTR advantages will enable our mutual customers to differentiate their next-generation products. Synopsys continues to focus on providing the best solutions for joint customers."