HomeChipsetsSemtech intros LoRa software upgrade to make LoRaWAN more scalable and robust

Semtech intros LoRa software upgrade to make LoRaWAN more scalable and robust

California-based chipmaker Semtech, which owns and licences the non-cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) LoRa technology and LoRaWAN protocol, has released a software upgrade for LoRa integrated circuits (IC) and gateways to increase network capacity and performance, and enable direct data transmissions from IoT sensors to satellites.

The software enhancement can be leveraged by second generation LoRa ICs to enable the new long-range (the expansion of the LoRa acronym, also) frequency-hopping spread spectrum (LR-FHSS) data rate on LoRaWAN networks, ratified in November by the LoRa Alliance.

The LR-FHSS data rates increase network capacity, allowing higher numbers of IoT sensors on networks, whilst also preserving power consumption of standard LoRaWAN data rates at the same time. The increase in scale reduces deployment and management costs of LoRaWAN networks, on the grounds fewer gateways are needed.

The new rates feature high interference resistance and high spectral efficiency for more robust IoT connectivity in “harsh” or deep-indoor radio conditions, and greater network capacity, according to Semtech. They are used only for uplink channels, such as to satellites, currently being brought online by the LoRa/LoRaWAN community – as per the announcement today from US LoRaWAN network operator and cloud provider Senet, which has announced a deal with Eutelsat Communications and others to integrate terrestrial and satellite LoRaWAN IoT connectivity for customers.

Standard data rates remain in use for the downlink traffic. The new suite of tools from Semtech will be enabled on Semtech’s SX1261 and SX1262 LoRa transceivers and LoRa Edge platform, as well as in its V2.1 gateway reference design. For LoRaWAN networks where V2.1 gateways are deployed, operators can enable the new capability with a firmware upgrade on gateways.

Marc Pégulu, vice president of IoT product marketing for Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group, said: “As the smart cities trend continues to proliferate globally, the new capability is a step for Semtech’s LoRa platform toward massive IoT deployments in densely populated areas. In addition, the enablement of direct IoT to satellite services revolutionizes the industry with affordable ubiquitous connectivity for remote areas, ultimately creating a smarter and more secure planet.”

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