Semtech Corporation has added a new LoRa transceiver device with multi-band capability including satellite and Wi-Fi to enable direct satellite-connected internet of things (IoT) applications in supply chain management and logistics with seamless low power geolocation.
Its new LR1120 device targets global geolocation applications, providing multi band LoRa and long range – frequency hopping spread spectrum (LR-FHSS) communication over sub-GHz and 2.4GHz industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) bands as well as licensed S-Band for satellites. It integrates a cloud-native multi-constellation global navigation satellite system (GNSS) scanner and a passive Wi-Fi MAC address scanner, both leveraging Semtech’s LoRa Cloud services.
In a briefing with embedded.com, Semtech’s product marketing director Randy Ryder said the introduction of the LR1120 follows on from the LR1110 launched a year ago, now adding the ability to support S-band and Wi-Fi connectivity. He said, “The multi-band capability gives customers the ability to simplify complexities of enabling asset tracking across different regions. The S-band allows us to link with partners such as low earth orbit (LEO) satellite companies. The GNSS receiver and Wi-Fi sniffer is also built into the silicon.”
The device targets track and trace in the logistics industry with a geolocation IoT platform adapted to global transportation and mass-scale asset management. With LoRa Edge LR1120, intercontinental logistics companies can leverage highly integrated, ultra-low power trackers with enhanced interoperability, versatile connectivity for simpler operation and global mobility across multiple regulatory regions. Additionally, the possibility to offer a low power and low-cost sensor with satellite connectivity unlocks a multitude of use cases in infrastructure monitoring, agriculture and environmental monitoring that require deployment in remote areas, which tend to be very capital intensive.
According to Christopher Taylor, director, RF & wireless with Strategy Analytics, “Combining LoRa with small, relatively low-cost LEO satellites will change the game for LoRa and IoT. Adding satellite communication capabilities in the S-band to LoRa can help replace aging SCADA monitoring and opens up new applications and markets, especially in remote regions. So far, LoRa has attracted the interest of several satellite companies including EchoStar and Lacuna.”
Ryder said that Semtech is already working with customers in livestock tracking in Africa for example. “There’s a lot of interest in LoRa based trackers for cattle. Also, in container shipping in maritime applications. An area which we think that is going to explode is reusable pallet tracking. Cold chain monitoring is also another area, and we are already talking to supermarkets about the food cold chain.”
Key features of the LoRa Edge LR1120 include:
- Multi-band LoRa capability (sub-GHz, 2.4GHz and licensed S-band for satellite) and multi-technology geolocation using GNSS for outdoor and Wi-Fi for indoor, as well as areas where satellite coverage is poor.
- LoRa cloud geolocation solver, which transfers the location processing workload from the device to the cloud, making ‘deploy once’ battery life possible.
- Supported by GPS and BeiDou constellations.
- Hardware crypto engine for increased security.
The device forms part of Semtech’s LoRa Edge device-to-cloud geolocation platform, a globally adopted long range, low power solution for IoT applications, enabling rapid development and deployment of ultra-low power, cost efficient and long range IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide. Semtech’s LoRa technology provides the communication layer for the LoRaWAN standard, which is maintained by the LoRa Alliance, an open IoT alliance for low power wide area network (LPWAN) applications that has been used to deploy IoT networks in over 170 countries. Semtech is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance. In fiscal year 2022, which ended 30 January 2022, Semtech said it registered recorded wireless and sensing products group net sales up 38.7%, driven by $134.1 million of LoRa-enabled net sales, which grew 52.6%.