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23 February 2016

Skyworks and Sequans deliver first device optimized for LTE Cat M

Skyworks Solutions Inc of Woburn, MA, USA (which manufactures analog and mixed-signal semiconductors) and Sequans Communications S.A. of Paris, France, a 4G chipmaker and provider of single-mode LTE chipsets for wireless device makers, have delivered what is claimed to be the first solution optimized for LTE Category M (Cat M) applications addressing the growing demand for embedded cellular connectivity across the Internet of Things (IoT). The device leverages Skyworks' half-duplex RF front-end module and Sequans' new Monarch LTE Cat M single chip to deliver a highly integrated, turn-key solution based on Release 13 of the 3GPP LTE standard. The Skyworks/Sequans platform, which is scalable to operator requirements worldwide, is said to simplify the design process, shorten OEM development time and accelerate the launch of next-generation LTE-based devices targeting low-data-rate, low-power applications.

"Our complete end-to-end solution, which is expected to be the dominant deployment method for LTE Cat M devices, provides customers with a powerful, cost-effective product that delivers industry-leading size and power efficiency, as well as support for low- and mid-frequency bands," says Sequans' VP of marketing Craig Miller.

"We have focused on developing a comprehensive transmit/receive solution for the new wave of devices spanning the Internet of Things that will operate ultra-efficiently across numerous frequency bands around the world," says Skyworks' VP of marketing Carlos Bori. "OEMs will find the device easy to design and integrate into their applications," he adds. 

According to market analyst firm ABI Research, cellular/wide-area Internet of Things shipments will exceed 1 billion units over the next five years. In addition, the GSMA says that cellular M2M connections could grow from around 300 million devices now to as many as 2 billion in 2020. Skyworks says that IoT developers are increasingly choosing LTE for their connectivity as they realize that technologies like Cat M meet challenging cost and power efficiency needs while providing valuable longevity through a reliable, global connectivity standard like LTE.

Sequans' Monarch LTE Cat M single-chip supports both Category M1 and M2 of the narrowband LTE user equipment categories defined in 3GPP Release 13. The Monarch chip integrates the baseband, RF transceiver, memory and power management functionality in a small 6.5mm x 8mm package, and is optimized for half-duplex FDD with intelligent on-chip RF filtering for global band support. When combined with Skyworks' SKY68000-11 front-end module (an ultra-compact, fully integrated multi-band solution integrating all the active and passive RF front-end components), the solution provides one of the most highly optimized LTE platforms for IoT applications available, it is claimed.

The deployment of 3GPP Release 13 LTE networks and devices supporting Category M1 and M2 is expected to commence with trials in 2016 and commercialization in 2017. These low-cost/low-power narrowband connectivity solutions should enable low-data-rate applications and will find high usage in large-scale deployments such as smart meters, sensors and monitors for the smart city, agriculture, industrial, the environment and the smart home, consumer and healthcare wearables, and ubiquitous asset tracking tags for vehicles, cargo, children, the elderly, pets and even luggage.

At the 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, Skyworks is exhibiting at stand 2F18 (Hall 2) and Sequans at stand 7I81 (Hall 7).

Tags: Skyworks

Visit: www.skyworksinc.com/Product/3165/SKY68000-11

Visit: www.sequans.com/products-solutions/streamlitelte/monarch-lte-platform

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