Oct 30, 2017

For the future of IoT, power consumption is still key

Last modified on December 27, 2021.

While the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming our world for the better, its multifunctionality comes at a cost in terms of power. And when it comes to power consumption in IoT applications, less is decidedly more. Nowhere is this more evident than with the advances of LTE in evolving from a vast power-hungry technology to support the current slimmed-down form of cellular IoT.

Optimising power consumption is key to enabling scalable low power IoT applications and for IoT design considerations, especially for those developing battery-operated devices such as tracking solutions, vehicle telematics, mobile health apps, smart meters, and smart city apps.

In order to make commercial sense, cellular IoT devices need to reliably and continuously operate in the field for up to a period of 10 years – without expensive truck rolls or maintenance visits to replace batteries.

IoT low power consumption technology has consistently been Altair’s priority in providing highly integrated LTE chipsets to meet the needs of most IoT applications while enabling longer battery life. A strategy which has since been validated according to the results of our webinar poll, in which more than 50% of respondents identified power consumption – second only to cost – as the most important consideration in IoT deployments:

The poll results further highlight the necessity for dual-mode capabilities as the new generation of IoT networks are rolled out. Supporting higher throughput, CAT-M1 generally provides lower active power consumption than NB1. However, in poor coverage scenarios, NB1 will provide lower power consumption levels, thanks to its ability to support single-tone transmission. Thus, a dual-mode CAT-M1/NB1 chipset will prove decisive in ensuring maximum power efficiency for future IoT deployments. Additionally, dual-mode operation is necessary to ensure global coverage, especially when mobile network operators’ Cat-M1/NB1 roll-out plans are not yet finalized.

Our webinar, Global CAT-M1 and NB1 Adoption: A Bird’s Eye View, was well attended and included a compelling Q&A session. If you missed it, be sure to register and view the full recording here.