23 February 2018
Skyworks and Sequans launch LTE-M/NB-IoT connectivity solution for IoT
© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.
Skyworks Solutions Inc of Woburn, MA, USA (which makes analog and mixed-signal semiconductors) and Sequans Communications S.A. of Paris, France (which provides LTE-M/NB-IoT chips for Internet of Things applications) have built on their multi-year collaboration to deliver what is claimed to be the smallest, turnkey connectivity engine for next-generation LTE devices that can operate globally.
Specifically, it combines Skyworks’ front-ends with Sequans’ Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT platform to create an all-in-one design that is compliant with Release 13/14 of the 3GPP LTE standard. The single stock-keeping unit (SKU) device simplifies the design process, shortens development time and accelerates the launch of space-constrained IoT products such as sensors, trackers and wearables, where the size is extremely important.
“Through our collaboration with Skyworks, we have created one of the most critical LTE engines for IoT available,” believes Sequans’ CEO Georges Karam. “Our comprehensive and powerful module incorporates every major component needed to enable the widespread deployment of LTE devices on any band, in an extremely small and thin package. This new form factor represents a truly ground-breaking architecture for a broad range of applications,” he adds.
“Skyworks’ partnership with an industry leader like Sequans allows us to fully optimize our innovative wireless engines, advanced packaging and system-level expertise for emerging IoT markets,” says Skyworks’ VP of marketing John O’Neill. “For our worldwide customers, it means smaller and simplified designs, accelerated carrier certifications and a much faster time to market.”
The solution has been pre-certified with leading operators through existing certifications of Sequans’ Monarch platform.
“This is an exciting product for IoT device designers, especially for wearable IoT devices in need of compact solutions,” comments Cameron Coursey, vice president of AT&T’s Internet of Things Solutions. “The Sequans/Skyworks platform brings together the technologies of two industry leaders to give AT&T’s IoT customers a total solution for launching their IoT devices on AT&T’s network as quickly as possible.”
The feature-rich Skyworks/Sequans turnkey platform includes an integrated baseband, SRAM, RF transceiver, RF front-end, passives and power management in a single 8.8mm x 10.8mm x 0.95mm package with proprietary RF shielding. It is compliant with 3GPP Release 13/14 LTE Advanced Pro specifications, including VoLTE support, is optimized for LTE UE categories M1, NB1 and NB2 and operates across broad frequency ranges (700MHz to 2.1GHz) to support global deployment and roaming capability. Proprietary power management techniques offer improved battery life.
Units are available now for lead customers and partners. Broader availability is planned for second-quarter 2018.
At the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) in Barcelona, Spain (26 February – 1 March), Skyworks is exhibiting in Hall 2, Stand I-2, and Sequans in Hall 5, Stand 5C87.