See Huawei's first NB-IoT chip's five advantages

International Standards Organization 3GPP plans to freeze and release the NB-IoT, a narrowband Internet of Things technology standard based on cellular networks, in June this year. After the announcement of the standard, Huawei Hisilicon, as the leader, will launch the NB-IoT commercial chip at the end of September this year. This will be the first commercially available NB-IoT chip in the industry, and its chip price will be short-distance communication chip. The price is close. The realization of the Internet of Everything has added a big weapon, and the popularity of the Internet of Things has accelerated.

NB-IoT can be said to be an innovative technology. It supports massive connectivity, deep coverage, and low power consumption. These inherent advantages make it ideal for IoT applications such as sensing, metering, and monitoring. It is suitable for smart meter reading, intelligent parking, vehicle tracking, and logistics. Monitoring, intelligent agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery, as well as smart wear, smart families, smart communities and so on. The demand for wide coverage, low power consumption, and low cost in these areas is very clear, and the widely used 2G/3G/4G and other wireless technologies cannot meet these challenges.

Many people compare it to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and other wireless technologies, but Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee for short-distance interconnection applications, and NB-IoT is a long-distance wide-area communication technology, not between the two At the level, there is no comparability. The world of the Internet of Things cannot be a standard. The coexistence of short-distance and long-distance communication technologies is the most reasonable and most problem-solving method, and NB-IoT is the leader in long-distance IoT technology.

NB-IoT advantage one: massive connection

NB-IoT has 50~100 times higher uplink capacity than 2G/3G/4G, which means that NB-IoT can provide 50~100 times more access than existing wireless technology in the same base station. . For a simple example, a cell network is covered by a base station. The original wireless network can only support 5 terminals in each home. It is possible that 4 mobile phones and 1 tablet will be occupied. Smart appliances and many sensor devices are difficult to access when they need to be networked. The NB-IoT provides at least 50 times access, that is, 250 terminal access, which is enough to meet the needs of a large number of devices in the smart home in the future.

Advantage 2: Deep coverage

NB-IoT boosts 20dB gain over LTE, which is equivalent to a 100x increase in transmit power, which means a 100x increase in coverage, even in areas such as underground garages, basements, and underground pipes that are difficult to reach. Taking advantage of this advantage, Vodafone's NB-IoT Experimental Bureau is carrying out an underground garage instruction project. The network construction of the navigation and positioning system in the traditional underground garage requires the support of local wireless technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This navigation indication network is also limited to the use of the parking lot. If you use a deep-coverage NB-IoT network, you only need to plug in the positioning module, and you can build parking instructions and navigation across the area.

Advantage three: ultra low power consumption

Low-power features are an important indicator for IoT applications, especially for devices and occasions where batteries cannot be replaced frequently, such as sensors that are placed in remote areas of the Alpine Wilderness. The battery life of several years is the most essential requirement. In the absence of breakthroughs in battery technology, battery power can only be extended by reducing device power consumption.

The energy consumed by a communication device is often related to the amount or rate of data, that is, the size of the data packet sent per unit time determines the amount of power consumption. The amount of data is small, and the modem and amplifier of the device can be adjusted to a very small level. NB-IoT focuses on small data volume and small rate applications, so the power consumption of NB-IoT devices can be very small. In addition, in order to further reduce power consumption and extend battery life, NB-IoT introduces ultra-long DRX (discontinuous reception) power-saving technology and PSM power-saving mode. NB-IoT allows devices to be online from time to time, but saves power by reducing unnecessary signaling and not accepting paging information in the PSM state. This can guarantee the battery life of more than 5 years.

Advantage four: low cost

Low speed, low power and low bandwidth bring low cost advantages. Low rate does not require large cache, so it can be cached small, DSP configuration is low; low power consumption means low RF design requirements, small PA can be achieved; because of low bandwidth, do not need complex equalization algorithms... These factors make NB -IoT chips can be made very small. The cost of the chip is often related to the chip size. The smaller the size, the lower the cost, and the lower the cost of the module.

It is reported that the NB-IoT chip introduced by Hess integrates BB and AP, Flash and battery management in the size of the coin, and reserves sensor integration. The AP contains three ARM-M0 cores, each of which is responsible for application, security, and communication functions, which reduces cost and power consumption while facilitating function management. The subsequent chips will also integrate with Soft SIM to further reduce cost.

Advantage 5: stable and reliable

NB-IoT can be directly deployed on GSM network, UMTS network or LTE network, and can be reused with existing network base stations to reduce deployment cost and achieve smooth upgrade. However, using a separate 180KHz band does not occupy the voice and data bandwidth of the existing network. To ensure that traditional business and future IoT business can be carried out stably and reliably at the same time. Taking the smart meter reading application as an example, compared with the use of wired PLC meter reading data recovery success rate of about 60%, NB-IoT can ensure the data recovery rate is 99%, and the reliability is greatly improved.

The NB-IoT ecosystem is unstoppable, triggering revolutionary changes in the Internet of Things

The NB-IoT standard will be completed in 3GPP R13 in June this year, and there is no doubt that 2016 will be a crucial year for the development of the NB-IoT industry. To be successful, NB-IoT must be supported by various industry platforms in the ecosystem.

From a solution/chip perspective. For Huawei, NB-IoT is a big strategy for the company, and all departments are actively involved. As the leader, Huawei provides end-to-end solutions, including base stations, core networks, chips, operating systems, and data management platforms. In addition to Haisi, Ericsson and Qualcomm are actively developing and producing such chips, and many chip manufacturers and module manufacturers are also planning to support NB-IoT this year.

Look at the NB-IoT response and investment from the operator. The NB-IoT standard has received responses from many mainstream operators. China Mobile, China Unicom, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Emirates Telecom, Telecom Italia, AT&T and other top global operators have released their respective development strategies and experiments around NB-IoT. Bureau. It is estimated that half of the world's 50 mainstream operators will support NB-IoT in 2016.

In terms of practical application cases, in addition to the Vodafone underground garage indication case mentioned above, Huawei has cooperated with a number of operators to complete smart meter reading, intelligent parking system demonstration and verification, and is talking about the license plate renovation project with the government. With the release of the standard in June this year, it is expected that a large number of test networks will emerge, and commercial networks will also appear, and will enter the scale deployment phase in 2017.

In addition to industry applications, consumer industries such as white goods manufacturers have begun to use NB-IoT chips for product development. It is foreseeable that the NB-IoT ecosystem is taking shape in an unstoppable situation. As a great tool to cope with many challenges in the new era of the Internet of Things, NB-IoT will revolutionize the entire Internet of Things and create a new era of Internet of Everything, bringing tremendous opportunities to all walks of life.

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