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Jun 29, 2015

Altair rolls low-power 4G chip aimed at wearables, IoT

By Julien Happich

Altair rolls low-power 4G chip aimed at wearables, IoT

Altair Semiconductor has developed a line-up of MIPS-based chips to deliver 4G connectivity to wearables and other IoT devices at particularly low power budgets. The company has optimised the FourGee modems for the small form factor and very low power consumption characteristics that are typical of IoT devices.

It also claimed that its FourGee-1150 and 1160 chips offer up to 10 times better energy efficiency and half the connectivity cost of the standard LTE technologies being used today.

Adding a FourGee LTE chip to a wearable has less than 10 per cent impact on battery life in a typical usage scenario (i.e. if a wearable device gets about 48 hours on Bluetooth + Wi-Fi only, then it will last for nearly 44 hours using FourGee LTE + Bluetooth + Wi-Fi), said the manufacturer. An LTE-powered smart metre could run for up to 10 years using several standard AA-type batteries. The FourGee chips also come equipped with next-generation OmniShield security technologies from Imagination, creating the required framework for safe deployment of services and software upgrades for IoT devices.

The FourGee-1150/6401 is a low-cost LTE Category-0 chipset featuring downlink speeds of up to 1Mb/s. This IoT-optimised chipset is highly integrated and incorporates elements such as an advanced on-chip power management unit, integrated DDR memory and a low power MCU subsystem with a robust security framework for customer developed applications, added Altair. The chipset also feature numerous host, peripheral and sensor interfaces.

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