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Feb 25, 2015

LTE IoT Specs Anticipated in Chips

By Jessica Lipsky

Altair aims to get jump on 4G MTC standard

OAKLAND, Calif. — Altair Semiconductor hopes to drive the machine-to-machine (M2M) market toward 4G LTE with two chip sets coming out ahead of expected 3GPP standards for the Internet of Things.

“The vision behind our move to IoT was the notion that there are many use cases out there that require some kind of long-range connectivity. So far M2M has been mostly addressed by 2G technology,” Altair Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing Eran Eshed told EE Times. “These networks are going to be sunset in the not-so-distant future. Carriers really need some upgrade paths and way to address the needs of next billion devices.”

Sometimes referred to as machine-type communications (MTC), these cellular communications face a variety of design challenges to fit a breadth of Internet of Things devices. Altair’s 1160 CAT-1 and 1150 CAT-0 chip sets use older, “disregarded” version of the LTE specification to provide low power, low cost communications at high data rates..

“LTE is about much more than high speed, as evidenced by the inclusion of CAT-1 in the original 3GPP LTE specification. And there’s a move by 3GPP to define even lower-cost, lower-throughput CAT-0 in next year’s Release 12,” Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, wrote in a newsletter. “There are some who see this road map as accelerating the trend for operators to shutter 2G and 3G networks and migrate to the more efficient 4G LTE technology.”

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