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IoT cellular SoC cuts power, provides 5G and satellite connectivity

The ALT1350 from Sony Semiconductor Israel also provides LPWA and 2.4 GHz connectivity and LTE-M/NB-IoT protocols.

ALT1350Battery-powered IoT devices always need to use less power and increase battery life. Sony Semiconductor Israel (formerly Altair Semiconductor) has introduced the ALT1350, which lets IoT devices communicate over low-band and mid-band cellular frequencies while cutting energy use compared to previous devices.

For data collection and processing, the ALT1350 (see diagram) contains a low-power MCU, AI accelerator, and sensor hub. For communications, the SoC adds GNSS, Wi-Fi, and cellular. A cellular modem provides M1, NB2, and satellite (non-terrestrial network, NTN) communications. An additional 802.15.4 modem adds low-power wide-area (LPWA) communications. There’s also an RF transceiver and an integrated SIM (iSIM), which lets a device using this SoC attain cellular connectivity on more than one carrier network. An integrated power-management unit (PMU) provides voltage regulators and control over powering the SoC’s circuits. The AI accelerator lets the ALT1350 function as an edge-computing processor. The sensor hub collects data for processing or transmission.

iot cellular soc cuts power provides 5g and satellite connectivity 1

ALT1350 cellular connectivity SoC for IoT devices.

To minimize power consumption, the ALT1350 features an optimized standby mode, which the company claims can reduce power consumption by 80% when compared to its current generation and by up to 85% when sending short messages compared to previous products. Sony Semiconductor says that these improvements can result in four times longer battery life for a typical device. That can result in more device functions, new use cases, and smaller batteries.

The ALT1350 currently supports 3GPP Release 15, making it compatible with 5G base-station radios. In the future, it will support Release 16 and Release 17 through software upgrades. The SoC’s 802.15.4 modem adds support for protocols such as Wireless Smart Utility Network (Wi-Sun), U-Bus Air, and Wireless M-Bus for additional wireless connectivity.

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