LTE NB-IoT Transceiver for IoT and M2M Applications
Palma Ceia SemiDesign (PCS) announced a silicon-proven LTE NB-IoT transceiver for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications. The transceiver performance conforms to the LTE NB-IoT specification, part of Release 14 from 3GPP. A full characterization report is available for customers that want to review the detailed results.
"The results we are getting from our new silicon show excellent performance across all the operating bands of NB-IoT Release 14," said James E. Flowers, co-founder & chief operating officer of Palma Ceia. "We continue our ongoing efforts to provide the best-performing IoT connectivity IP, including this 3GPP standard and the WiFi HaLow standard (802.11ah) as well."
LTE NB-IoT (LTE-NB1) is a cellular 3GPP standard that utilizes licensed bands to deliver low-power connectivity compared to the conventional cellular connections for smartphones. Network setups of IoT devices benefit from cellular capacity handling, allowing the creation of large networks of devices, or sensors for IoT. The throughput and data handling performance is intended to be competitive with proprietary LPWA alternatives that uses the existing infrastructure of cellular services providers.
NB-IoT focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and enabling a large number of connected devices. The NB-IoT technology can be deployed "in-band" in spectrum allocated to Long Term Evolution (LTE)—utilizing resource blocks within a normal LTE carrier, or in the unused resource blocks within an LTE carrier's guard-band—or "standalone" for deployments in the dedicated spectrum. It is also suitable for the re-farming of GSM spectrum.
- Meets the performance requirements of 3GPP LTE Advanced Release 14 for NB-IoT
- Support for Low Band (LB), from 699MHz to 960MHz: bands 5, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, and 28
- Support for High Band (HB), from 1695MHz to 2200MHz: bands 1, 2, 3, 66 and 70
- Direct conversion receiver with a noise figure of less than 2.5dB
- Highly linear architecture offering operating margin exceeding 3GPP linearity requirements
- Self-contained calibration and correction schemes for better performance and high yield
- Fully automated DC offset correction
- Total RX current of 15mA and TX current of 22mA at max power
- Targeted 200kHz implementation offers lower power versus LTE-M1 at 1.4MHz
- Transmitter noise, power ramp and Spurious performance exceed 3GPP requirements resulting in SAW-less transmitter
- Under max power condition, transmitter exhibits an EVM of less than 2% for single and multiple tones
Palma Ceia plans to produce both a transceiver chip with baseband and a module that can be used as the wireless communication mechanism to interface IoT and M2M products. Along with the possibility of integrating this IP into an SoC, Palma Ceia intends to be able to offer customers all the necessary options to implement IoT devices in the many and varied application verticals that make up this market.
The current offering is packaged as hard IP (GDS) complete with a user/integration guide. A test board is under development and can be linked to an FPGA for systems testing and validation.