Sequans intros “specifically optimized” Release 17 5G chip for broadband IoT

Taurus 5G NR Platform

An interesting news release from today, in light of the state-of-the-market address at Private Networks Forum yesterday; French cellular IoT maker Sequans Communications has announced what it calls the first “specifically optimized” 5G chip for IoT devices, offering a Release 17 bundle of broadband 5G features for industrial clients. It has also described the new product, called Taurus 5G NR, “ideal for price-sensitive 5G applications”.

Jamie Moss, research director at ABI Research, summed up nicely: “Initial 5G IoT uses came as no surprise: automotive, and fixed wireless terminals and gateways–namely, high bandwidth applications that can reuse chips originally developed for smartphones. But the rest of the IoT needs 5G silicon that has been acutely optimized: simpler, more efficient, more affordable, and not merely cut down or hobbled versions of higher performance chips.

“Economies of efficiency and effectiveness are intensely resource sensitive, and only fit-for-purpose designs can unlock the mass market potential for 5G in the IoT. [The] Taurus is a 5G chip developed solely for broadband IoT, and with these optimizations as guiding principles.” ABI Research predicts that annual shipments for broadband IoT modules will reach 217 million units globally by 2027.

The Taurus system-on-chip (SoC) platform supports sub-6 GHz (600-7125 MHz) radio frequencies in both standalone and non-standalone 5G NR, with 4G LTE fallback as well. It features a dual-core application processor unit (APU) for smart edge applications and integrated routers with high-speed interfaces, including native Ethernet, to support a wide range of IoT customer applications.

The full Taurus portfolio includes chipset and modules, with reference designs for fast time to market and design flexibility. It is pitched to support IoT devices in enterprise and private networks, said Sequans, and used for broadband-style data applications in the smart building, smart city, “high-end” industrial IoT, and residential fixed wireless access segments. There is no word on its commercial availablility, as yet.

Bertrand Debray, Executive vice president of broadband IoT at Sequans, said: “With our new Taurus platform, we are addressing the exact needs of the 5G broadband IoT industry. Taurus provides all the capabilities expected for the support of enhanced broadband services, but it is tailored to fit the requirements of today’s most in-demand broadband IoT applications, thus enabling a cost-effective solution for the mass market.”

He added: “Taurus 5G is a cutting-edge modem system-on-chip perfectly dimensioned for broadband IoT. It makes popular 5G broadband IoT devices more affordable, enabling mass deployment.”