December 5, 2022

CEA And Astrocast’s RF Chip Offers Ultra Low Power IoT Connection

CEA and Astrocast partnered to develop a bidirectional, low-cost communication module. This module allows customers to interact with assets in remote areas not reachable using terrestrial networks.

New Chip Allows Users To Communicate With IoT Devices At Low Cost

CEA, a research-based technology firm, partnered with Astrocast, an international satellite IoT operator. Both entities have developed a cost-effective chip with a wide coverage.

The satellite’s L-band chip is based on a revolutionary design created by CEA-Leti. The L-band chip is hardware that allows Astrocast clients to connect with their facilities in the field at a low cost. 

Both companies finished the product earlier this year as a joint initiative between Astrocast and the research firm, CEA. The chip has now been added to Astronode S, Astrocast’s RF module.

The design of the chip is divided into the digital control component, the processing component, and the RF core. CEA optimized it to accommodate Astrocast’s unique bidirectional ground-to-satellite protocol.

The surface-mount module interacts with ground devices through Astrocast’s LEO satellite system. Using the L-band spectrum, the network primarily aims toward oil and gas, marine, agriculture, environmental applications, and land transport sectors.

Laurent Vieira de Mello, the COO of Astrocast, stated that Terrestrial IoT systems only cover just 15% of the planet. This leaves enormous expanses of rural and remote areas where the company’s global satellite can come in.

The satellite networks will cover these critical areas for the company’s target markets. Also, Astrocast’s expert knowledge in chip production helped CEA-Leti to develop its chip to meet market requirements.

Astronode S Module Uses Low Energy 

The COO added that the firm was able to manage the initiative’s time-to-market window. To achieve this, the platform used a flexible cooperation strategy.

This strategy encompassed both the prototype and industrialization stages of the project. Meanwhile, Michel Durr, CEA-Leti’s business development manager, said the expedited time-to-market aim pushed this project from the very beginning.

Additionally, Durr said the company was the first to develop this RF tech. Within three years, the team customized the product to suit Astrocast while making it available for mass production.

As per CEA-Leti, their industrial tester utilized for characterization was key to advancing from prototype to product. Durr said this permitted prototype evaluation in parallel in the lab and on the tester.

The industrial tester of CEA-Leti helped to facilitate the whole process. Meanwhile, the Astronode S module is compact, can be surface-mounted, and uses low energy.

Also, it is suitable for battery-powered abs highly integrated IoT systems. Furthermore, the report stated that it offers low cost, which is 3 times less than what traditional IoT offers.

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