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CEVA Announces XC5 & XC8 DSPs for M2M/IoT

This week, CEVA introduced two new power- and cost-optimized communication processors designed specifically to address the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications. The CEVA-XC5 and CEVA-XC8 DSP vector processors are the smallest and most power-efficient members of the CEVA-XC architecture, supporting the full range of emerging cellular protocols such as LTE MTC Cat-1, Cat-0 or Cat-M, as well as the suite of Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) standards such as Lora, SigFox and Ingenu.

Improvements in the CEVA-XC architecture have resulted in a 20% memory size reduction and the capability to allow multiple PHYs and MACs to run concurrently on the same processor with much reduced overhead. The XC5 is 40% smaller than any previous generation CEVA-XC processor and deploys an IoT-optimized Power Scaling Unit (PSU) which enables it to achieve up to 70% lower dynamic power consumption.

The CEVA-XC5 and CEVA-XC8 DSPs come with complete DSP, LTE and legacy cellular software libraries, as well as a unified software development environment. The processors are available for licensing today.

Qualcomm Launches Cat 1 LTE Modems

As the leader in LTE-Advanced smartphone modems, and having recently introduced high-end 600 Mbps Category 12 modems, Qualcomm has now announced modems for the 10 Mbps-class IoT market. Cat 1 modem chips are said to be ideal for wearables and IoT/M2M devices since their 10 Mbps downlink (& 5 Mbps UL) is more than adequate for such ultra-low-power applications.

The Qualcomm MDM9206 Cat 1 modem follows Sequans and Altair in that market segment. At the September CTIA conference, Sequans was demonstrating its Calliope LTE Platform in a network trial with T-Mobile and Altair was showing its FourGee-1160/6401 Cat 1 platform with Ericsson. So, it appears that Qualcomm has some catching up to do in this emerging market.

Eran Eshed, Co-founder of Altair said that “…some Cat 1 chips are simply rebranded higher-category chips that are functionally compatible with Cat 1, but fall short on power consumption and die size. Since Qualcomm has yet to release detailed specifications on the MDM9206, we cannot comment as to whether Altair’s statement is applicable to Qualcomm’s chip or to others soon to be announced.

Qualcomm also announced the MDM9207-1 which supports the upcoming narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology defined in 3GPP Release 13 and packs more horsepower and is intended for heavier IoT applications such as smart metering, security and industrial automation, while providing Cat 1 LTE connectivity. The MDM9307-1's features consist of power saving for devices communicating with the modem constantly or infrequently for up to a 10-year battery life. It sports a Linux-capable, Integrated Applications Processor (ARM Cortex A7 clocked at 1.2 GHz), GNSS global positioning, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and support for most major cellular standards (from GSM through LTE).

The MDM9207-1 is expected to be in commercial devices in 1H/16, while the MDM9206 will likely follow later--after the 3GPP Release 13 is finalized.

Shameless Plug

We invite you to check out our newest report, “GLOBAL 4G SMART DEVICE & SUBSCRIBER MARKET UPDATE ‘15." The report is an update from our March, 2015 report, expanded to 283 pages from the original 254-page report. It provides a detailed mid-2015 analysis of smartphone market shares in each of the 12 major global markets as well as forecasts for LTE smartphone shipments, subscribers and growth in each of those regions.

In addition, 3G/4G baseband chip supplier unit market shares in each of 40 smartphone brands are provided through mid-2015. 4G smart devices include cellular-connected tablets. We forecast the 4G Modem tablet market to grow at a CAGR of 32% from 8.9 million in 2014 to 35.4 million by 2019. By 2019, 75% of modem-connected tablet shipments are forecasted to be LTE.

The report also covers USB devices and hot spots as well as LTE-Wi-Fi routers. In some regions where fiber to the home (FTTH) is strongest, such as China, South Korea, and Singapore, the opportunities for fixed LTE router sales are limited, but the rural regions in the United States, Western Europe and other countries present opportunities for LTE-Wi-Fi home router sales.

The report’s coverage is wide and deep and is aggressively priced at only $3,500 with an enterprise license. For a more detailed description as well as the extensive table of contents please click here.

As always, I encourage your feedback.

Will Strauss

President & Principal Analyst

Forward Concepts

Domain: Electronics
Category: Semiconductors

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