Qualcomm Technologies has announced a single-mode NB2 (NB-IoT) chipset, which the company says is the industry’s most power-efficient IoT modem. The Qualcomm® 212 LTE IoT is designed for delay tolerant applications and covers all cellular bands from 700 MHz to 2.1 GHz, ensuring global use. It meets the single-mode 3GPP release 14 category NB2 IoT standard.

The single-chip system includes the modem baseband, application processor, memory, RF transceiver with fully integrated RF front-end, and power management. Needing few external components, the small package size enables LTE modules smaller than 100 mm2, which also reduces system cost.

Power efficiency is a top requirement for many IoT applications, as sensors must last years in the field. The NB-IoT modem has a power-efficient architecture for low average power consumption and draws less than 1 µA of sleep current. To support a range of batteries, the modem has a low system-level cut-off voltage and the capability to adapt power use to source power levels, operating with power supply voltages as low as 2.2 V.

With its integrated ARM Cortex M3 application processor and a native set of IoT data networking protocols, Qualcomm’s 212 LTE IoT modem supports embedded IoT applications.

Qualcomm plans for the 212 LTE IoT modem to be available commercially during the second half of the year. The company is also releasing a software development kit (SDK) to support custom software on the integrated applications processor. It also offers pre-integrated support for cloud platforms, such as the Microsoft Azure IoT SDK.

Qualcomm’s single-mode 212 LTE IoT modem complements the multimode Qualcomm 9205 LTE Modem, which offers category NB2, category M1 and GPRS connectivity, with global navigation satellite system support. Together, the 212 and 9205 modems provide a comprehensive portfolio of IoT modems.

“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.” — Vieri Vanghi, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Europe