Qualcomm at Mobile World Congress Shanghai this week debuted a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform aimed at expanding LTE narrowband compatibility in wearable devices. Called the SnapdragonWear 1200, the company says its new platform will bring LTE Category M1 (Cat-M1) and NB-IoT connectivity to a new generation of wearables for a number of different market segments.
“The smart wearables industry continues to grow with prolific innovation across targeted opportunities such as kids, pets, elderly, and fitness,” Qualcomm Senior Director of Product Management Pankaj Kedia observed. “To effectively scale, these opportunities require ultra-low power, highly energy efficient, always connected, and cost-efficient solutions. With the introduction of Snapdragon Wear 1200, we extend our wearables offerings to bring LTE IoT categories M1 and NB1 to connect the next generation of wearable devices and provide an exciting complement to our highly successful Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform for smartwatches.”
The Snapdragon Wear 1200 platform comes in a compact 79mm form factor that features an LTE system-on-chip (SoC), power management integrated circuit and wireless transceiver, ultra-low power management operation, flexibility to add a range of external sensor hubs, and a global multimode M1/NB1/E-GPRS modem with support for 15 global RF bands, pre-certified for major global operators. The platform also includes support for location services across GPS, GLONASS, Gallileo, and BeiDou constellations, low power geofencing, and Qualcomm Technologies’ cloud-based location services with comprehensive global terrestrial positioning using WiFi and cellular service. Notably, the company also said the platform is scalable to support voice-over-LTE, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth, and Linux and ThreadX-based applications.
Snapdragon Wear 1200 is commercially available immediately and shipping today, the company said.
The Snapdragon Wear 1200 debut comes as U.S. wireless carriers are forging ahead with deployments of Cat-M1 and NB-IoT networks.
Verizon in March announced the nationwide launch of its LTE Cat-M1 network, with execs at the time claiming the move would be a “game changer” that would enable deployment of new devices with improved power efficiency and battery life.
AT&T in May followed up with the launch of its own nationwide LTE-M network in the United States. The carrier said it’s currently working on rolling out the same in Mexico by the end of this year.
Sprint, too, is working on IoT network deployments. The carrier last month said LTE Cat-1 technology will be fully up and running across all of its network this summer, and LTE Cat-M deployments are on tap for the middle of next year. More on Sprint’s IoT deployment plans here.
At MWC Shanghai, Qualcomm also unveiled a new Snapdragon 450 mobile platform for mid-tier smartphones and tablets, and announced its automotive platform has been selected for next generation infotainment systems in vehicles from Chinese automaker Geely. More on those announcements here and here.