Sequans has released the second generation of its LTE-M and NB-IoT chip platform called Monarch 2. The newer version is built on three years of Sequans’ exclusive and field-proven experience with first-generation Monarch platform, which is and has been the industry’s leading LTE for IoT chip since its introduction in 2016.
Monarch 2 incorporates full reuse of Monarch’s software and architecture, allowing all existing customers to migrate to the upgrade, seamlessly. It brings several significant advancements, including an integrated secure element (SE) with the industry’s highest level of security, enabling a variety of integrated SIMs, a 60-percent improvement in power consumption, beating the already industry-lowest level of Monarch, and an industry-leading high level of integration that further simplifies and lowers the cost of IoT device design.
According to Sequans’ CEO, Georges Karam, the Monarch 2 has been designed based on the exclusive knowledge gained over the last three years with IoT device-makers and LTE operators around the world. This experience has enabled the company to develop the new platform with real world knowledge of what customers need for successful LTE IoT deployments of all types. In Monarch 2, Sequans has answered key demands and improved the already ultra-low power consumption, added comprehensive positioning capabilities and a versatile MCU, and added other important features to validate and improve the business cases for the widest possible range of IoT applications.
Monarch 2 comes 5G ready. It supports 3GPP Release 14 and 15 and LTE UE categories M1/NB1/NB2. In a single chip, it integrates baseband, RF, RAM, MCU, and power management. It supports all power classes +23/20/14 dBm, allowing deployments by all operators around the world with efficient network capacity and data plans. The newer platform’s dedicated MCU is able to scale from ultra-low power to high-performance mode to best fit customer applications. It is open to all customers via Sequans’ SDK.
Monarch 2’s embedded secure element (SE) offers the highest, government-grade security level possible, EAL5+, and iUICC function. For positioning, it embeds Sequans Location Engine which provides indoor and outdoor positioning via GNSS and a wide range of LTE-based location technologies. The Location Engine gives application developers flexibility to select the geo-location technology that best fits their requirements for location accuracy and cost. The power consumption of Monarch 2 shows a 50-percent improvement in active mode and a 60 percent improvement in eDRX and idle modes, with rock bottom power consumption continuing to lead the industry at 1 micro amp.
The Monarch 2 will be seamlessly integrated into Sequans’ Monarch product portfolio which includes Monarch N – the single-mode NB-IoT version of Monarch, and Monarch SiP – an ultra-small and thin system-in-package that includes the universal radio front end of Skyworks and all other components required. Monarch has been certified by operators all over the world in USA, Japan, Europe, and Australia.
Key Features of the Monarch 2 Platform
- 3GPP Release 14 and 15; LTE UE categories M1/NB1/NB2
- Full forward compatibility of first-generation Monarch’s mature software for seamless migration
- IoT Select — dynamic LTE mode selection for LTE-M or NB-IoT
- Supports RF frequencies 617-2200 MHz, including support for LTE band 71
- Optimized for half-duplex FDD in a Single-SKU design for global deployment
- +23 dBm/+20dBm/+14dBm configurable FEM for optimized network capacity by limiting packet retransmission and providing superior coverage at cell edge or in-building/underground
- Dedicated MCU to support embedded customer application software and ultra-low power sensor-hub
- Ultra-low power consumption: Rock bottom power consumption of 1 micro amp, 60% reduction in eDRX and Idle modes, 50% reduction in active mode, eco-Paging — proprietary Sequans’ algorithm for lowest possible eDRX power consumption
- Integrated secure element (SE) with industry’s highest level of security EAL5+
- Embedded iUICC
- Embedded GNSS provides for concurrent LTE and GNSS operation, supporting multiple constellations
- Sequans Location Engine — supports both indoor and outdoor location services with or without GNSS
- Embedded voice processing acceleration for an optimized LTE-M VoLTE solution
- Single rail power supply input with range 2.2-5.5 V, allowing the use of standard AA batteries
- 215 pins CSP, 0.5 mm pitch, allowing low-cost PCB technology and enabling 65% size reduction