Qualcomm Announces World’s Most Power-Efficient NB2 IoT Chipset
By Ifeoma Asika
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has announced a breakthrough new product to drive the growth of cellular IoT, the world’s most power-efficient single-mode NB2 (NB-IoT) chipset, the Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT Modem.
Power efficiency is a top concern for IoT devices that have to last for years in the field. Requiring less than one micro-amp (1uA) of sleep current, the Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT Modem’s cutting-edge power-efficient chipset architecture allows for extremely low average power consumption. To support wide range of batteries and longer life span of the device in the field, the modem couples ultra-low system-level cut-off voltage with provisions for adapting power usage according to varying source power levels – allowing end devices with power supply levels as low as 2.2 volts.
“The Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT Modem will help usher in a new era for a range of IoT applications around the globe, especially those requiring connectivity deep within buildings combined with low power use, like battery-powered IoT devices that need to operate for 15 years or longer in the field,” said vice president, product management, QUALCOMM Europe, Inc, Vieri Vanghi. “Its ultra-low power consumption, compact form factor, and low cost will greatly benefit OEMs creating the next generation of low-power IoT devices.”
The Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT Modem supports single-mode 3GPP Release 14 Cat. NB2 IoT connectivity, anticipated to enable extended coverage for delay tolerant applications on RF frequency bands spanning from 700MHz to 2.1GHz for Global roaming. Housed in a compact single-chip solution including modem baseband, application processor, memory, RF transceiver with fully integrated RF front end, and power management units, the modem enables LTE modules below 100 square millimeters in size. Its high level of integration with few external components not only results in a low-cost Bill of Materials, but also facilitates quicker module design enabling faster commercialization time for OEMs.
With its integrated ARM Cortex M3 application processor, and the native set of IoT data networking protocols, the Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem can enable embedded IoT applications. Qualcomm Technologies is also launching an SDK for use with the Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem, which is designed to support developers in running custom software on the integrated applications processor, with an expectation to offer pre-integrated support for cloud platforms such as the Microsoft Azure IoT SDK.
The Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem is exciting news for the larger IoT ecosystem as well:
“The expansion of low-power wide-area networks around the world is opening the door to massive IoT use cases and applications that weren’t possible or practical before. We’re aiming to make that easier for our customers – through access to the world’s largest NB-IoT footprint and through a leading-edge modem and chipset portfolio,” said vice president, advanced solutions, AT&T, Cameron Coursey. “The Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT Modem will help unlock new possibilities for enterprises on NB-IoT networks through efficiencies in cost, power usage and form factor. We look forward to validating the chipset for the AT&T network.”
“Deutsche Telekom is looking forward to certify Qualcomm Technologies’ upcoming Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem for our networks,” says head of IoT devices, Deutsche Telekom, Uday Patil. “Thanks to our excellent collaboration, we can bring seamless interoperability to our customers as well as innovative services.”
“Gemalto, a Thales company, relies on Qualcomm Technologies’ cutting-edge LTE modems to provide its Cinterion IoT modules with the best-in-class connectivity capabilities,” said vice president, IoT, Thales, Andreas Haegele. “The world-leading power efficiency potential offered by Qualcomm Technologies’ new Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem is a very exciting breakthrough. We are thrilled about the opportunity to expand our portfolio and offer our customers innovative next generation IoT solutions.”
“We’re excited to further extend our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies to support innovative technologies that connect the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud. From industries like Energy to Transportation to Smart Cities, the ability to leverage low-power and low-cost chipsets is a critical part of helping our joint customers deploy new telemetry, tracking and other edge solutions with long battery life while also leveraging our Azure IOT platform and hyper-scale cloud infrastructure corporate vice president, Microsoft, Roanne Sones.
“We are excited to add a new product to our already impressive LPWA portfolio that ships the largest volume of cellular modules to the global IoT industry. Positioned to help global OEMs connect their devices even more intelligently, this highly cost-effective, new-gen NB-IoT module BC660K based on the Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem, is ultra-small and offers power saving capabilities, making it an ideal solution for IoT applications with size constraints or requiring long battery life,” said chief operation officer, Quectel, Doron Zhang. “Leveraging our solid and long-established collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies enables us to offer an unrivaled module portfolio that meets a wide range of diversified vertical needs, and our ongoing collaboration will continue to drive the IoT forward.”
“Telit has a long-standing relationship with Qualcomm Technologies, using their LTE 9205 and 9206 modems to offer our customers the best-in-class cellular connectivity IoT modules,” said chief marketing and product officer, Telit, Manish Watwani. “The Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem supports Release 14 Cat. NB2 IoT connectivity, offering IoT applications extended coverage, improved power consumption and battery life. We are proud to work with a collaborator that continues to provide cutting-edge connectivity solutions like the Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem to grow our LPWA portfolio.”
“The Internet of Things is an area with great growth potential for wireless connectivity,” said global head of IoT platforms and solutions, Verizon, Steve Szabo. “We are excited to see Qualcomm Technologies announce this new chip that offers the world’s highest power efficiency for NB2 IoT connectivity. Together, Verizon and Qualcomm Technologies will lead the way to realizing the connected future that IoT promises.”
The global, single-mode Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem complements Qualcomm’s industry-leading multimode Qualcomm® 9205 LTE Modem, which offers Cat.NB2, Cat.M1, and GPRS connectivity in addition to GNSS support. Together, the Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem and Qualcomm 9205 LTE Modem provide our customers with a comprehensive portfolio of IoT modems to address many IoT ecosystem connectivity needs. The Qualcomm 212 LTE IoT Modem is expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2020.