Long range radio chip extends reach of the IoT with support for Sigfox

Smart connected objects can operate for up to 10 years, without needing replacement batteries, says STMicroelectronics, as the company announced the S2-LP transceiver.

The radio chip for the IoT can be used for networked devices, such as alarm systems, surveillance equipment and smart energy-metering, as well as long-range radio links used to connect devices like remote sensors directly to the cloud without a local gateway. It can also be used in applications such as building automation, industrial monitoring and control, and systems for managing lighting, traffic, or parking in smart cities.

The device operates in unlicensed sub-1GHz frequency bands. The narrowband operation allows efficient use of radio spectrum and reliable data exchange up to long distances using low power signals, says the company.

The transceiver also enables connectivity to the Sigfox network for cost- and energy-efficient communication usings billions of sensors and smart things.

The company has worked in partnership with Sigfox and describes a new era in ISM radios for the IoT to extend battery life, while preserving the robust, reliable connection, and reducing maintenance costs for remote and difficult-to-reach sensors, it says.

The S2-LP long-range, low-data-rate transceiver is in production now in a 4.0 x 4.0mm QFN24 package. It supports point-to-point, star, as well as mesh networking topologies and draws only 6.7mA in receive mode, and 10mA when transmitting at 10dBm. Sleep and standby modes reduce the current to just 600 and 350nA, respectively.

Receiver sensitivity is -130dBm for operation over distances up to several hundred kilometers, depending on the environment.

The transceiver can be programmed for operation in multiple worldwide sub-1GHz ISM frequency band, with support for Sigfox, Wireless M-Bus and 6LowPAN, as well as IEEE 802.15.4g, which is suitable for home energy-management systems.

A software development kit (SDK) compatible with the STM32 microcontroller family includes prototype boards and rich software tools and resources. The device is Sigfox-ready and comes with a pre-certified development kit for immediate connectivity to the Sigfox network for evaluation and easy prototyping purposes.

http://www.st.com

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