LTE chipmaker Sequans Communications S.A. leveraged on Tuesday its long-term partnership with TSMC, and TSMC’s ultra-low-power technology, to create Monarch, its commercially available and highly optimized LTE-M chip for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Monarch has already been designed into numerous LTE for IoT devices, including devices recently announced by Gemalto, NimbeLink, Link Labs, Encore Networks and PyCom.
Sequans’ Monarch is a highly-optimized LTE-M (Cat M1) and NB-IoT (Cat NB1) capable chip. It is purpose-built for narrowband IoT applications, including sensors, wearables, and other low data, low power M2M and IoT devices.
Monarch 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. Monarch provides full support for Power Saving Mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) to enable the long battery life needed by many IoT use cases, and it provides the enhanced coverage modes defined in the standard that extend coverage for deep-indoor and remote deployments.
Monarch comprises baseband, RF, power management, and RAM, all integrated into a single, tiny 6.5 x 8.5 mm package. In addition, Monarch supports advanced features such as programmable RF filtering for global band support in a single SKU, and proprietary dynamic power management technology enabling battery life of over ten years.
“TSMC’s process technology, design IP, development tools, and manufacturing support have been instrumental in our success in the 4G chip business for more than a decade, and never more so than in the IoT market with our Monarch LTE-M chip,” said Georges Karam, Sequans’ CEO. “We’ve launched more than a dozen 4G chips in that time, each of them produced by TSMC. Our success is due in no small part to our strategic relationship with TSMC.”
“TSMC congratulates Sequans on the successful launch of Monarch, a game-changing solution for wide area, low-power IoT market,” said Simon Wang, senior director of TSMC’s IoT Business Division. “We believe IoT will be a major growth driver for the semiconductor industry in years to come, and we’re excited about our long-term strategic relationship with an industry leader such as Sequans.”
“TSMC’s ultra-low-power (ULP) technology allows even 4G LTE chips to meet the long battery-life needs of many IoT use cases,” Karam added. “Their excellent portfolio of IP cores and electronic design automation (EDA) tools enable fast and economical chip development. And they have been an outstanding supply partner, reliably supporting Sequans’ volume needs to ensure our customers get to market on time.”
Last week, Sequans Communications announced that its Monarch LTE Platform has been certified to operate on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Monarch is compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 LTE-Advanced standard defining narrowband LTE and developed to support low power and low data rate applications for the Internet of Things.
The certification means that Monarch is approved to operate on Verizon’s LTE Cat M1 network and that devices based on Monarch can benefit from faster certification and time to market. New LTE for IoT devices made by NimbeLink, Link Labs, and Encore Networks, all based on Monarch, have also recently been certified by Verizon.