eNB-IoT Rel14 IP integrates DSP, RF and software for lower cost, lower power

June 26, 2018 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
CEVA has announced the successor to its popular CEVA-Dragonfly NB1, the CEVA-Dragonfly NB2, which is a highly-integrated and modular IP optimized for Cat-NB2 (3GPP Release 14 eNB-IoT) that can seamlessly be incorporated into chips and modules by the multitude of companies looking to address the large and fast-growing cellular IoT space.

In the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, the forecast for cellular IoT increased significantly, almost doubling to 3.5 billion connections for 2023. The report cites large-scale deployments in China and increasing interest in eNB-IoT and Cat-M1 cellular IoTstandards as the catalysts for 30% CAGR between 2017 and 2023.

CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 claims to be the first licensable Rel14 compliant eNB-IoT system and builds on the success of CEVA-Dragonfly NB1, which has been widely licensed for a range of use cases and emerging end markets, including smart cities, transport and logistics and consumer electronics. It is centered on the CEVA-X1 DSP/control processor featuring an enhanced Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) and provides a unified processor environment for both physical layer and protocol stack workloads. The IP also includes a highly-integrated, worldwide enabled RF transceiver, a power amplifier (PA) and all the associated hardware and software modules required to develop a complete eNB-IoT product, ensuring the lowest possible bill-of-materials (BOM) in the process.

In addition to the performance improvements enabled by Release 14 including higher data rates and lower latency, CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 features a range of enhancements to ensure higher performance, added functionality and increased security for NB-IoTapplications compared to its predecessor. A new power management solution, complete with intelligent sleep mechanisms ensures ultra-low sleep power consumption of a few microAmps, further improving the battery life critical to every NB-IoT device. The enhanced RF design is already silicon-proven at 55nm and 40nm processes, further lowering the entry barriers for customers with no previous cellular expertize to enter this burgeoning market. CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 also includes the fully-optimized physical layer and protocol stack firmware designed for Release 14 Cat-NB2. The addition of an on-chip embedded flash memory and controller now allows full NB-IoT design on a single die which further reduces BOM and power consumption.

For customers developing NB-IoT products that also require GNSS capabilities, CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 includes a new power-optimized GNSS hardware package, with GNSS RF Receiver and multi-constellation digital front-end. This GNSS package speeds up both acquisition and tracking tasks by up to 8x compared to CEVA-Dragonfly NB1, enabling a host of popular NB-IoT use cases, including people, livestock and asset tracking, and geo-fencing.


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