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Sony Provides NB-Optimized, Battery-saving 5G-Ready Chipset

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Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology that serves to enable a wide variety of cellular devices and services while operating on existing cellular networks. Developed to specialize in efficient communication, extended battery life, and decreased costs, NB-IoT offers intrinsic value for enhancing infrastructures with an industrial-grade LPWA solution. 

A leading provider of cellular IoT chipsets, Israel-based Sony Semiconductor, has recently announced the addition of the ALT1255 chipset to their low-power cellular IoT solution portfolio that include ALT1160 for CAT-1 connectivity and ALT1250 for CAT-M, NB, and 2G connectivity. As an up-to-date low-power NB2 chipset, the ALT1255 builds upon its predecessors by incorporating an integrated SIM (iSIM), user MCU, rich application layer, and GSM/GPRS fallback modem. The 5G ready chipset serves to empower device manufacturers in the development of connected devices that feature a variety of capabilities as they monitor, manage, and control critical infrastructure, that includes medical devices, logistic trackers, and a large variety of LPWA applications. The solution also provides instant secured cloud connectivity, utilizing numerous industry-accepted communication protocols such as power-efficient COAP and LWM2M.

“System integrators, solution providers, and system developers have expressed the need for a fully integrated NB-IoT cellular chipset with 2G fallback,” said Dima Feldman, VP of Product Management and Marketing at Sony Semiconductor Israel. “The ALT1255 is a feature-rich chipset that meets those market demands, as it provides reliable connectivity for smart meters, logistics, telematics, and smart cities applications.”

The ALT1255 incorporates various components that enhance its capabilities, including:

  • Built-in iSIM removes barriers related to cost, size, and power, as well as adding an additional layer of security. 
  • The GSM/GPRS modem fills the gaps in LPWA network coverage and allows future-proof technology deployment in countries with mixed 2G/NB coverage. 
  • The low-power ARM Cortex-M4 MCU, entirely separated from the modem functionality and designed to run a variety of IoT and sensing applications
  • An adaptation layer to interconnect within the existing ecosystem.

Joining the reputable Sony Altair family of products, the ALT1255 can be readily included across the industry, having received the Global Certification Forum (GCF) certification, carriers, iSIM ecosystem partners, and developers designing IoT devices have already broadly accepted the product.

Sony Semiconductor Israel continues to provide low-power and cost-efficient chipsets for a range of industrial and consumer IoT applications such as trackers, smart meters, smart labels, wearables, and vehicle telematics. The Altair chipsets are commercially deployed on the world’s most advanced LTE networks, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Docomo, KDDI, SoftBank, Telstra, Verizon, and Vodafone. The new ALT1255 platform is now commercially available and has been selected by key module players.


Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Special Correspondent

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