Sequans Introduces LTE-M/NB-IoT System-on-Chip for Integrated IoT Devices

Sequans Communications has introduced the Monarch SX, a highly integrated system-on-chip that combines Sequans’ IoT optimized Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT platform with a low-power ARM Cortex-M4 processor, low-power sensor hub, graphics display controller, and media processing engine, all in a single compact package that measures less than 90 square millimeters.

Monarch SX eliminates the need for adding external processors to run IoT applications supporting voice, music, graphics display, sensor or location data collection. This highly-integrated single-chip LTE-M (Cat M1) and NB-IoT (Cat NB1) system-on-chip (SoC) with an embedded processor has been designed specifically for small form-factor, narrowband IoT applications, including trackers, sensors, wearables, and other low data-use, low power M2M and IoT devices. It enables devices based on LTE-M or NB-IoT to run for many years on very small batteries and deliver industry-leading price/performance capability.

It integrates Sequans’ Monarch LTE-M and NB-IoT platform, with an ARM Cortex-M4 processor, voice and audio engines with support for VoLTE on LTE-M, an always-on, ultra-low power sensor hub, and an advanced display controller to support a graphical user interface with touch screen functions.

The Monarch SX modem complies with the ultra-low-power and reduced complexity feature requirements of the 3GPP release 13 LTE Advanced Pro standard, defining narrowband, low data rate LTE technology for machine-type-communications (MTC). It achieves a very high level of integration whereby the ARM Cortex-M4 processor, dedicated media processing unit, sensor hub, baseband processor, RF transceiver, power management unit, and RAM are integrated into a tiny package, meeting the footprint requirements for the very smallest of IoT devices. Monarch SX runs Sequans’ SDK with a carrier-proven LTE protocol stack, an OMA lightweight M2M (LWM2M) client for over-the-air device management, a media engine, a sensor hub engine, and a royalty free RTOS.

Highlights of the Monarch SX:

  • Integrated LTE-M/NB-IoT baseband and RF transceiver, ARM Cortex-M4 processor, media processing unit, sensor hub, GPU and display controller , RAM and power management
  • IoT interfaces for USB, screen, audio microphone, battery, GNSS, SIM card, secure element, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth low energy, keyboard, accelerometer, gyroscope, and other sensors
  • 3GPP Release 13 LTE Advanced Pro
  • Narrowband LTE UE categories M1 and NB1
  • Single chip FC-CSP package
  • Extended DRX and PSM features for ultra-low power consumption in long sleep modes
  • Programmable RF filtering for global multi-band support in a single-SKU hardware design
  • Proprietary Dynamic Power Management (DPM) technology for 10+ year operation
  • Optimized for half-duplex FDD (HD-FDD), and also supports full-duplex FDD (FD-FDD)
    • Throughput: LTE UE category M1 (1.4 MHz bandwidth) up to 300 kbps DL/375 kbps UL in HD-FDD, and 1 Mbps in FD-FDD
    • LTE UE category NB1 (200 kHz bandwidth) up to 40 kbps DL/55 kbps UL in HD-FDD
  • Single antenna system architecture
  • Coverage enhancement methods
  • Reduced Tx power class option

Sequans will be showcasing the Monarch SX next week at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, February 27 - March 2.