7

Connectivity technologies are diverging in the last times to adapt to the continuous demands. In the lack of any GSM standard there are several communication technologies. I'm interested to know if there exist chipsets with support for several technologies. I'm trying to avoid the beta-vhs problem, so I'm looking if there are any chipsets that support multiple protocols; Does someone know of any?

  • 3
    Chipset or modules? – Sean Houlihane Apr 25 '17 at 15:30
  • 1
    I'm asking for chipsets. Thanks for the clarification – gavioto Apr 25 '17 at 16:50
  • 2
    FiPy by PyCom is quite compact but it is a module more than chipset. It is coming soon stuff so a chipset is coming later stuff. – mico Apr 26 '17 at 4:16
  • Thanks @mico it seems based on ESP32 chip, with support for more than I've asked here. But it seems interesting to know it exists – gavioto Apr 26 '17 at 20:49
6

The SX127x family of chips from Semtech are modems supporting both LoRa and (G)FSK modulations (including ultra-narrow band FSK). Coupled with a microcontroller implementing the relevant stack(s), they are already used for with following IoT network protocols: LoRaWAN, Sigfox, Wireless M-Bus, DASH7 and Symphony Link. They could probably also be used with EnOcean, Zigbee sub-gigahertz and Z-Wave but I know no examples of that, and some of those are very closed ecosystems.

LoRaWAN stacks are available publicly, license-free. The availability of other stacks is variable, and you will have to do the co-integration of several stacks yourself. If you only need to support one stack at a time, and just want the ability to switch networks by re-flashing your micro, then the problem is simpler. With a modem from TI or SiLabs you can support most of the FSK-based protocols. With a circuit from Semtech you gain additional support for the few LoRa-based protocols.

To future-proof a LPWAN product, some modules are already available with a dual LoRaWAN/Sigfox stack: http://www.nemeus.fr/en/nemeus-mm002-2/ You cannot connect a module that is not qualified by Sigfox to the Sigfox network, so using this kind of module can save a lot of time and hassle.

If a module is too big, there is a SIP combining a SX1276 and a microcontroller: http://www.acsip.com.tw/index.php?action=products-detail&fid1=19&fid2=&fid3=&id=79 but in that case you will have to provide the stack yourself.

There are no single chip available right now that combine a microcontroller, a LoRa/FSK modem and a ROMed stack like you can find for Bluetooth. Given the minimum size requirement for an acceptable 868 MHz antenna (> 10 cm²), gaining a few square millimeter of chip area by doing a RF SoC is probably not worth it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.