Intel reveals world's smallest 3G modem for the Internet of Things2014-08-26 07:55 by Daniela
Intel announced a 3G cellular modem with an integrated power amplifier that fits into a 300 mm2 footprint, claiming it is the smallest such chip. Intel targets the XMM 6255 at Internet of Things uses in areas such as healthcare monitors and advertising. The modem supports downlink speeds up to 7.2 Mbits/second.
Intel's IoT modem solution includes the modem, an integrated power amplifier and a transceiver, but it is little larger than a penny coin. It can both transmit and receive data. It is built to work well in low signal strength areas, so it can work OK in places like a parking garage or home basement. Thanks to its size and robustness it can survive well in the conditions that are typical for IoT deployment.
"The Internet of Things will not allow [vendors] to build well performing antennas for many reasons... antennas need volume," Stefan Wolff, chief operating officer of R&D in Intel's Wireless Platform group said. "We believe IoT [uses] will neither offer the volume for well-designed antennas nor will people have the capability to engineer and test these antennas," he added. "Intel's antenna approach not only decreases the size of the modem but maximizes network capacity and throughput by decreasing signal loss."
The company figures that 3G modems will be needed in industrial equipment, home appliances, security and safety devices, and all sorts of other things. Intel did not release information on the modem's power specs or cost.
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