New Altair Cat-1/Cat-M chipset to pave way for smooth transition to next phase of IoT connectivity

Altair Semiconductor, a provider of LTE chipsets, announced that samples of its new dual-mode FourGee-1210 CAT-1/CAT-M chipset will be available later this year, enabling a smooth transition to the next standard of Cellular IoT networks.

While CAT-1 chipsets have been deployed around the world for a wide range of IoT applications, carriers and vendors alike have been pursuing the emerging CAT-M (CAT-M1) and NB-IoT (CAT-NB1) standards that offer extended coverage and battery life capabilities, as the ultimate core technology for cellular IoT.

However, there will be a lengthy transition period until there exists sufficient coverage and standards maturity to enable complete conversion to CAT-M and NB-IoT. Until the ecosystem is ready to fully adopt these standards, a CAT-1 fallback will be required. This is what the FourGee-1210 provides.

Eran Eshed, co-founder and VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Altair
Eran Eshed, co-founder and VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Altair

“Like any migration to a new cellular network, the complex transition from CAT-1 to CAT-M will take time and could potentially delay carrier and vendor rollouts,” said Eran Eshed, co-founder and VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Altair. “Altair’s FourGee-1210 chipset will facilitate a smooth migration to CAT-M adoption, providing the ecosystem with the combined solution it needs for the next 18-24 months.”

Key features and benefits of the new FourGee-1210 chipset include:

  • Hardware/software compatible with Altair CAT-1 FourGee-1160, enabling the seamless reuse of existing customer modules to add CAT-M functionality
  • Dual mode CAT-1/CAT-M with seamless switchover
  • Support for CAT-M extended coverage enhancements
  • Single Rx, optimised to reduce CAT-M module BOM cost
  • Ultra-low power consumption, leveraging Altair’s market-leading power reduction architecture
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR), enabling over-the-air firmware upgrades (FOTA) to accommodate CAT-M feature evolution

The FourGee-1210 chipset will reach the market by the end of 2016, coinciding with the projected launch of the first CAT-M networks.

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