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Neul produces first Weightless M2M radio chip

The Cambridge UK-based firm (the Icini were Queen Bodicia's tribe based in the East Anglia region of England) says it expects it's own chip - designed to further the Weightless standard for M2M - to be the first of many from other manufacturers.

The Icini chip is designed to start the developer ball rolling with the new radio technology which is capable of tuning across the UHF spectrum (470 - 790MHz) to take advantage of the so-called 'white' (no signal in them) spaces available there due to the transition of television from analogue to multiplexed digital broadcasting.

Neul has identified this spectrum and its radio solution as being ideal for M2M since it can secure long range, non-line of sight connections at slow(ish) data rates. The spectrum can be effectively served with ultra low-powered radio devices.

The result is the Weightless radio standard which Neul and other Cambridge (and beyond) M2M companies are hoping to develop into a worldwide M2M connectivity standard.

The highly integrated Icini asic has the following attributes:- It operates over the entire TV white space frequency range, from 470MHz to 790MHz, and supporting both 6 MHz and 8 MHz channel bandwidths while conforming to the strict white space regulatory requirements.

- Features adaptive digital modulation schemes and error correction methods which can be selected according to the trade-off between data rate and range required for a given application.

Has encryption mechanisms ensure secure data transfer over the air.

- Has a memory-mapped parallel bus interface and discrete interrupt lines can be used for waking the external application processor, such as an ARM M3, upon receipt of a relevant frame.

- Programmable IOs are available for controlling the external RF front-end, such as a Transmit Power Amplifier.

Neul claims it has white space networks on four continents and continues to deploy specific white space infrastructure around the world. Devices integrating the Iceni chip can access these networks at a fraction of the cost of wired or cellular wireless connections and the network has been designed to be data-only to support the explosive growth of wireless data, including the expected billions of M2M and IoT connections. Moreover, the Iceni ASIC is designed with the small footprint, low power consumption and temperature specifications often required by these emerging applications.

The company claims the Weightless chipset will cost of less than $2 in volume and will boast battery life of more than of ten years from a single primary cell - as well as substantively lower network costs. It can thus enable the tens of billions of connected machines that are being forecasted for the next decade.

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