Sierra Wireless intros EM92 series of (R16) 5G modules for Industry 4.0 – coming late 2021
IoT module maker Sierra Wireless has announced a new family of embedded 5G modules, compliant with the latest Release 16 (R16) version of the 5G standard, for routers, gateways, and industrial IoT devices. The forthcoming EM92 series will bring the cost of 5G-based IoT modules down, to expand usage in precision agriculture, smart manufacturing, connected healthcare, and smart cities, the company said.
EM92 modules, available at the end of 2021, will be based on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon X65 and X62 5G modem-to-antenna systems, announced in February, and designed for high and low-end 5G devices. The Snapdragon X65 system, built on a new 4nm fabrication process, is geared for premium consumer devices and, crucially for higher-end Industry 4.0, for wireless industrial automation devices.
A new X65 chip provides download speeds of 10Gbps; the X65 modem comes with a new RF Front End (RFFE) solution and mmWave antenna module. It will be seized upon by companies rolling out private 5G networks and desperately short of industrial 5G devices. Meanwhile, the new Snapdragon X62 is targeted at lower-end devices, offering maximum download speeds of 4.4Gbps.
Both Qualcomm releases bring key positioning capabilities to 5G devices in the industrial IoT space. Sierra Wireless said its EM92 modules will “enable new IoT applications and digital transformation across industries”. It commented: “The EM92 Series of modules enable next generation IoT applications such as live media streaming, video security, extended reality (XR), robotics and private networks.”
Gautam Sheoran, senior director of product management at Qualcomm, said: “The EM92 series enables customers to make the most of 5G’s capacity, data speeds, wider coverage, and lower latency, enabling the expansion of the mobile ecosystem to new industries such as precision agriculture, smart manufacturing, connected healthcare and smart cities, and transforming the IoT industry by enabling next-generation computing and edge-to-cloud applications.”
Jim Ryan, senior vice president of partnerships, marketing and IoT solutions at Sierra Wireless, said: “This next generation of 5G modules… demonstrates our 5G leadership and continued commitment. As carriers invest in new spectrum for next generation 5G, Sierra Wireless continues to support and pave the way with our advanced 5G technology, global presence and decades of IoT experience, enabling new and innovative IoT applications for industry digital transformation.”
But the EM92 will only be available at the end of 2021. As such, the Canadian firm used the press announcement to flag its partnership with Qualcomm, and to put light on its existing eSIM-based EM91 family, already certified by US carriers to connect to their 5G networks. The EM91 series includes the EM9190 (mmWave/Sub-6GHz/LTE NR) and EM9191 (Sub-6Hz/LTE NR) modules.
Sierra Wireless stated: “Both [EM91] modules… deliver unprecedented bandwidth and network performance and have been designed to securely connect to 5G networks around the world. They enable OEMs, system integrators, and other companies to easily integrate 5G connectivity into their products, and make the most of 5G’s high speeds and ultra-low latency while shortening time-to-market, future-proofing designs, and ensuring the security of their deployment.”