Engineering 101

First Call on Commercial NB-IoT Network Completed

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CEVA and Nurlink Technology have announced the successful completion of the first over-the-air (OTA) call on China Telecom’s NB-IoT network, using the Nurlink NK6010 NB-IoT System-on-Chip (SoC).

The test was carried out in Nanjing, China, with the Nurlink SoC connecting to China Telecom’s Cloud IoT Platform over the NB-IoT network. It represents an important milestone towards the mass market production of Nurlink’s CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 based SoC.

“We are immensely proud to complete our first over-the-air call on one of the world’s most-advanced NB-IoT networks in less than 15 months after beginning our SoC design,” said Dr. Xiaohua Kong, Nurlink CEO. “The CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 platform, along with CEVA’s excellent technical support, provided the solid foundation that enabled us to achieve this milestone so quickly.”

Ange Aznar, Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless IoT Business Unit at CEVA, added: “CEVA is committed to ensuring that NB-IoT is the long-range connectivity ‘standard-of-choice’ for IoT devices by offering a comprehensive NB-IoT IP solution that significantly lowers the entry barriers for companies looking to integrate this technology into their SoC designs.

“Nurlink’s latest milestone is highly impressive and represents a strong endorsement of both the excellence of their engineering team and of the capabilities of our CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 IP to rapidly advance NB-IoT SoC design.”

NK6010 is an ultra-low cost and power-efficient NB-IoT SoC designed specifically for narrowband connectivity in mass market IoT devices such as smart meters, wearables, asset trackers and industrial sensors. Built based on the CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 solution, the SoC incorporates RF front-end, RF transceiver, cellular baseband, power management unit and application processor, to minimize the chip size and cost of the solution.

It supports full NB-IoT frequency bands with major global carriers, ensuring smooth and rapid certification of devices on any NB-IoT commercial network around the world. The SoC also includes an extremely low-power multi-GNSS subsystem, which supports GPS/Beidou/Galileo/GLONASS global navigation systems. This subsystem allows fast positioning while also supporting highly-accurate device tracking. NK6010 is currently undergoing testing with operators worldwide and expected to enter mass production later this year.

The CEVA-Dragonfly NB2 IP solution is a modular technology, composed of the CEVA-X1 IoT processor, an optimized RF Transceiver, baseband, and a protocol stack to offer a complete Release 14 Cat-NB2 modem IP solution that significantly reduces time-to-market and lowers entry barriers. It is a fully software-configurable solution and can be extended with multi-constellation GNSS and sensor fusion functionality.

The IP includes a reference silicon of the complete modem design, including an embedded CMOS RF transceiver and PA, an advanced digital front-end, physical layer firmware, and a protocol stack (MAC, RLC, PDCP, RRC, and NAS).

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