Smarter and compact devices represent the future of the Internet of Things (IoT), and consumers have come to expect longer battery life and a greater range of functions on narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) devices. For example, health wearables are now designed to incorporate heart rate/blood pressure monitors, mobile payment, step tracking, and positioning, among other features. In spite of their potential to offer more functions, consumers will rarely opt for larger devices that need to be frequently charged. That's where highly-integrated NB-IoT chips come into the picture.
Boudica 200 Powers Compact Modules
In an NB-IoT device, the module occupies a large amount of space. It generally module consists of the following:
1. NB-IoT modem
2. Power management circuit, with a load switch and DC/DC converter
3. Microcontroller unit (MCU)
4. Memory subsystem
5. Power amplifier (PA)
6. RF front-end circuit and switch
7. SIM card or eSIM
Due to the presence multiple peripherals, the RF signal interference, clock, and power supply need to be taken into consideration, which makes tracing difficult. So reducing the size of the module is crucial.
Boudica 200 adopts an innovative architecture, which integrates the modem, MCU, PA, power management component, and memory subsystem into a single system on a chip (SoC), greatly reducing the number of peripheral components in the module. The area of a module with the configuration of typical frequency bands can be shrunk down to 10 mm x 10 mm.
Boudica 200 comes equipped with BLE 5.0, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), including GPS and BeiDou, as well as a dedicated security processing unit on the same SoC, to support a greater number of applications in the same module area. In addition to supporting secure boot, loading, execution, and firmware over the air (FOTA), the security processing unit also supports iSIM, to ensure that the SIM card slot can be removed from devices, making it cost-effective and space-efficient.
Boudica 200 Is Applicable to a Wide Range of Scenarios
NB-IoT places more stringent requirements on the size, power consumption, positioning, and security of chips and modules in such scenarios as smart meters, smart smoke sensors, and smart city services. Therefore, the pursuit of 1 billion NB-IoT connections requires advanced chipsets with higher specifications.
Boudica 200 unlocks a broad array of application scenarios to build the foundation for a smarter world. For instance, Boudica 200 already powers a multitude of compact health wearables (such as smart bands), shared bicycles, and low-power tracking and positioning sensors that take the form of a tag or button, demonstrating its real world efficacy.
NB-IoT: The Cornerstone of Wide Area IoT Connections
The NB-IoT sector has witnessed explosive growth in recent years, and now serves as the bedrock for wide-area IoT connections. 5G has infused NB-IoT capabilities with more durable and robust performance as well. On the path to the Internet of Everything, HiSilicon will continue to spare no effort in optimizing NB-IoT chips and modules, to meet the diverse requirements of the modern world. HiSilicon also hopes to work closely with industry partners to promote NB-IoT development on a broader scale.