Qualcomm Intros World’s 1st Gigabit LTE Modem

Last week, Qualcomm announced the first modem to support Gigabit LTE.  The X16 supports LTE-A Pro Category 16 downlink speeds of up to 1 Gbps and Category 13 uplink speeds of 150 Mbps. With the X16, Qualcomm sets the Gigabit modem benchmark, a significant milestone for the entire mobile industry paving the way to 5G.   My more detailed write-up on the new product is in EETimes here.

CEVA Enables “X16”-Like Modems

Quickly following the Qualcomm announcement, yesterday IP licensor CEVA, Inc. announced its new CEVA-X4 DSP+Control processor targeting high-end basebands for smartphones with the system control capability to manage the entire modem.  When combined with the CEVA-XC4500, the X4 is said to enable next-generation LTE-A Pro modems that can compete with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X16.  No doubt, we’ll see more LTE-A Pro modem solutions rollout this year…perhaps even next week at Mobile World Congress.

 

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New Low-Power Memory for IoT Products  

Adesto Technologies Corp. is shipping what it claims to be the world’s lowest-power non-volatile memory device. Adesto offers CBRAM® (Conductive Bridging RAM) which is billed as the 1st commercial Resistive RAM product. CBRAM forms and dissolves a conductive link between two electrodes. Unlike Flash, no pre-erase is required. It employs a CMOS-compatible 2-mask process and is said to offer lower energy than Flash. Additionally, CBRAM uses lower write voltages and faster write operations compared to Flash. The technology is available as Moneta™ discrete devices designed as companion chips for Ultra Low Energy IoT Systems. It is also available as Mavriq™ serial memory.  CBRAM is said to offer longer battery life with smaller batteries or even no batteries since it has the ability to power from an energy harvesting source.

Adesto’s Target Battery Operations or Energy Harvesting Applications

  • Beacons in retail stores
  • Commercial building sensors (external memory for OTA for wireless sensor nodes)
  • Home medical monitoring and other sterilized medical equipment
  • Hazardous/remote locations sensors
  • Bluetooth low energy devices (with/without OTA updates)
  • Applications using harvested energy from environment (e.g. solar, thermal electric – body heat, electromagnetic, and vibration energy)
  • Data logging applications

MWC Looms

Next Monday, tens of thousands of wireless engineers, programmers, and executives (and their entourages) will converge on Barcelona for the world’s biggest and most influential wireless event, Mobile World Congress ’16.  Of course hundreds of reporters and a few dozen industry analysts like me will also be there. The event was known as 3GSM when I first attended in Cannes France some 11 years ago.  But attendance outgrew Cannes (and I had to stay in Nice for the last event in France) so the ever-growing event moved to Barcelona and later changed its name to MWC (GSM seemed so obsolete).  My schedule is about 90% filled, but I hope to at least to say “Hi” to many of you there.

As always, I encourage your feedback.

Will Strauss
President & Principal Analyst
Forward Concepts
wis@fwdconcepts.com

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