Fri. Mar 24th, 2023

[Introduction]In 2020, the development of NB-IoT deployment and application will be accelerated, and NB-IoT technology will be recognized by more and more industries. Relying on its own long-term technology accumulation and successful experience in large-scale SOC chip design, Chip Image semiconductor is based on the actual situation of industry customers. An understanding of the needs and challenges faced by IoT chips has resulted in an innovative product designed to address several types of issues that are common to industry customers. In the market environment where the delivery time of MCU products is prolonged and the price is rising, the built-in independent and open Open CPU of LH3200 has completely replaced the external MCU of the original IoT solution in the commercial trial, helping customers reduce costs and improve efficiency. It also proves that the built-in independent Open CPU of the NB-IoT SoC chip can replace the MCU in the design of the IoT terminal.


When it comes to NB-IoT, from standards to chips and modules, to equipment, networks, platforms and industry solutions, NB-IoT technology is dominated by the Chinese industry chain, and has been widely recognized and supported by the global industry chain . As far as LPWA (wide-area low-power IoT technology) is concerned, NB-IoT is the best technology choice in the current market – NB-IoT can not only make full use of the operator’s existing 4G infrastructure, improve network utilization and The output rate can enable new growth of operators; it can also make full use of the current industrial scale and mature technology of NB-IoT to accelerate the process of Internet of Everything and digital transformation.

NB-IoT also gives relevant industries the confidence to adopt 3GPP technology and meets the development needs of the industry market to accelerate deployment and optimize performance – the 3GPP system is a technical system that can be continuously evolved and upgraded. With the gradual progress of 2G network frequency reduction and network withdrawal, most of the massive 2G IoT terminals will be replaced by NB-IoT terminals.

Regarding the development of NB-IoT in China, during the Huawei NB-IoT Development Industry Summit held at the Beijing National Convention Center in October 2020, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) gave exciting data: domestic NB-IoT development Accelerate, and have formed a 4+7+N development echelon: 4 million-level applications, including: smart remote gas meter, water meter, smart smoke sensor, and tracking applications represented by electric vehicles; 7 million-level applications, including : white goods, street lights, door locks, parking, tracking, agriculture, electricity meters; and more emerging applications, such as POS machines, set-top boxes, trash cans, cold chain logistics, smart factory mold management, etc.

At present, NB-IoT smart remote water meters, gas meters, heat meters and NB-IoT non-public electricity meters are the most mature and largest of these applications. The vast number of meter solution manufacturers have shown their abilities and developed various types of NB-IoT smart remote meter solutions relying on existing technologies. Different technical routes have their own advantages and disadvantages, which are not detailed, but all solutions should pay attention to the following points:

1. Communication performance requires strong communication ability, excellent performance and stable performance;

2. In terms of energy saving, the power consumption is required to be low enough, a battery can support applications for at least several years, and there is no need to manually replace the battery during the life cycle;

3. Stable work, high online rate and high success rate of copying;

4. The cost of the solution, in the environment where the MCU is out of stock in the world and major manufacturers have raised prices, how to make a smart remote metering solution with excellent performance at a lower cost;

5. The degree of intelligence is high, and it can independently monitor and report battery life. If necessary, it can effectively help the water company to do preventive maintenance in advance, and improve service levels and customer satisfaction.

Smart meter solution manufacturers generally have high expectations for NB-IoT chips, expecting them to help create better industry solutions and products with higher integration, better performance, and better design.

The core semiconductor LH3200 NB-IoT chip is such a product. The new generation of fully integrated NB-IoT terminal chip LOHALINK LH3200 is an innovatively designed NB-IoT communication chip that supports 3GPP R14 communication standard, ultra-high integration, single-chip integrated baseband processor BP, power management unit PMU, RF RF unit , general ADC (6 channels, 10 bits), temperature sensor, etc. In addition, the chip has a built-in independent open application processor (open CPU).

Relying on its long-term accumulation in digital-analog hybrid ultra-low power design, 3GPP system architecture design, and communication chip design, the core semiconductor technical team launched this NB-IoT chip with innovative architecture design in 2020. In the chip design stage, Chip Vision closely cooperates with the downstream metering solution designer customers, fully understands the actual needs of customers and the challenges faced by IoT chips, and combines the team’s multiple heterogeneous multi-core and SDR architecture large-scale SoC chip design. Successful experience to complete this highly integrated, high-performance, easy-to-use product. LH3200 has the following features:

1. Low-voltage working mode: LH3200 can work normally when the power supply voltage is 1.92V. In high-current driving scenarios such as meter data uploading and valve control mechanism action, the instantaneous power supply capacity of the energy-based battery is insufficient, and the power supply voltage is greatly reduced. When the power supply voltage drops significantly, it can effectively improve The stability of the metering scheme work;

2. Ultra-high receiving sensitivity: -118dBm receiving sensitivity, when the network coverage is not perfect and many application scenarios have poor signal, the metering solution based on LH3200 has stronger network environment adaptability;

3. Ultra-low power consumption: PSM 0.9 microamps, 23dBm transmit 240mA, to ensure that the battery life meets industry requirements;

4. Higher transmit power: the highest transmit power can reach 25dBm, which can make up for the limited uplink communication caused by insufficient network coverage;

5. The LH3200 has a built-in ultra-low power pulse counter, which can count continuously for 7 X 24 hours under 0.9uA micro-power consumption without MCU work. Therefore, the metering solution based on LH3200 can be regarded as an energy saving expert in pulse metering; the ultra-low power consumption metering function can greatly reduce the average power consumption of smart metering products and prolong battery life. The built-in metering unit of LH3200 adopts a variety of anti-misjudgment, filtering and anti-interference mechanisms, and still maintains extremely high metering accuracy under extremely low power consumption.

6. High-precision battery monitoring: It can continuously monitor the battery voltage with 0.1V accuracy, so that the cloud can know the battery life of the IoT terminal at any time, allowing operators to perform preventive maintenance more efficiently.

7. The built-in independent open CPU can completely replace the external MCU in the traditional dual-chip architecture of IoT terminals, and is physically isolated from the NB-IoT communication CPU to ensure that the physical resources available to users are independent, safe, efficient and reliable.

With innovative design and excellent performance, in just over half a year, the chip LH3200 chip has been applied in many fields: a commercial application of a shared device (a long-connection application, which requires real-time response to user requirements and requires power consumption) Low cost, low cost), application of a metering device, application of a smart lock project, etc. More applications are ready to expand the application scope of LH3200 rapidly.

It is particularly worth mentioning that, in the special period when the global MCU supply is tight, the built-in Open CPU of the chip LH3200 has shown itself in practical applications.

In the past year, the new crown epidemic has had a huge impact on the global economy, and the global MCU market has also suffered. The prolonged delivery time of MCU products has led to an imbalance between supply and demand. MCU delivery delays and price hikes have been widely reported in the industry. A number of well-known professional media discussed how to use the built-in Open CPU of the IoT chip to help the IoT industry and solve the urgent needs of the industry.

Since the third quarter of last year, the built-in independent Open CPU of Chip Vision LH3200 has been running user applications stably on site in a commercial project, saving an extra MCU for customer solutions, not only reducing material and production costs, but also shortening product development time. cycle.

This is another commercial scenario since the LH3200 was mass-produced and supplied, and it is also the first commercial use in the scenario of long-term connection and shared equipment. The company’s R&D team cooperates closely with customers to quickly successfully implement all original solutions of customers. The LH3200’s built-in independent Open CPU has fully undertaken the operation of customer applications, and the on-site operation is stable and reliable. Customer expectations, won the praise of customers.

Although the coverage of the existing network is not perfect and the signal is not stable, the LH3200 of Chip Semiconductor maintains a stable connection under the signal strength of -118dBm, which also exceeds the customer’s expectation. This shows that the chip not only achieves excellent communication performance, but also proves one thing for the industry through on-site actual combat test – the built-in independent Open CPU of the NB-IoT SoC chip can replace the MCU in the design of the Internet of Things terminal, providing Customers save costs and improve efficiency.

In addition to completing the above-mentioned series of arduous and complex tasks, the R&D and product teams of Chip Vision Semiconductor also made full use of the advantages of the built-in dual CPU to quickly realize the OTA online upgrade. The on-site verification results show that the LH3200 remote online upgrade function is stable and reliable.

Under the general trend of “Internet of Everything”, the Internet of Things is an emerging field of the communication industry, and the scale of the industrial market continues to expand, and the Internet of Things technology has immeasurable commercial value. World-renowned entrepreneurs have declared that the Internet of Things will replace the Internet and become the most important part of people’s lives. At present, 5G technology is taking off and network construction is in its infancy. As a 5G wide-area IoT communication technology, NB-IoT is on the eve of large-scale commercial explosion. With the help of NB-IoT technology, city-level remote intelligent meter reading, street lamp management, fire-fighting facility monitoring, etc. will become easier and more reliable, and urban management and people’s lives will be smarter.

The core is integrated with the four images, and the Internet of Things is in all directions. Chip Semiconductor will go all out to meet challenges with innovation, face the market with strength, and help China’s economic development, social governance and digital transformation of people’s lives with a new series of cellular IoT communication chips, and contribute its modest contribution to China’s modernization. force.

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