Semtech's Randy Ryder talks about the latest developments and innovations in connectivity.
The market is currently witnessing an increased demand for intelligent, scalable and cost-effective global asset tracking solutions. This demand is accelerated by the urgency to improve end-to-end supply chain performance, visibility and customer services. Long range, low power and easy-to-deploy IoT geolocation solutions connected to the Cloud enable ultra-low power asset management platforms to automatically locate, track and monitor physical assets. These assets span a wide range of applications and verticals from equipment, product, vehicles, and in some instances people. We spoke with Randy Ryder, Director Wireless Product Marketing at Semtech to learn more.
Please provide an overview on the recently announced LoRa Edge LR1120 product. What does this new product bring to Semtech’s portfolio?
Semtech’s recently announced LoRa Edge LR1120 technology allows for direct satellite-connected IoT applications in supply chain management and logistics with seamless low power geolocation, and adds multi-band capabilities to LoRa Edge device-to-Cloud geolocation platform. With these additional features, the LR1120 enables satellite-connected IoT applications for more precise and low power location services on a global scale.
Our solution supports organizations and companies by improving operational efficiencies and financials while meeting ESG goals. We have designed the LR1120 deliver maximum flexibility to our asset management customers. It enables global logistics companies’ universal connectivity to mitigate regulatory and deployment challenges. Furthermore, the platform opens countless use cases for remote locations such as infrastructure management to agriculture and environmental monitoring which are historically costly and complex.
What is the benefit of direct satellite-connected IoT?
Satellite technology plays a significant role in enabling new applications for businesses and consumers in remote areas where traditional, terrestrial networks are unavailable. In areas of the world without cellular or Wi-Fi signals, satellite IoT using low power wide area networks (LPWAN) technology has the power to fill those connectivity gaps. The LR1120 bridges terrestrial networks with worldwide IoT satellite connectivity. The LR1120 geolocation platform easily integrates into new or legacy infrastructure, providing an extremely low-power geolocation platform.
To give you an example, rural areas with no available terrestrial networks now have connectivity for individuals working in these hard-to-reach places. This could be at oil fields in the desert or offshore rigs, where it would be impractical and prohibitively expensive to send personnel to collect sensor data. Connecting satellites to IoT devices across vast remote areas across the globe establish a continuous flow of coverage for IoT applications, which require global coverage from land to sea to sky.
Tell us more about the added flexibility with 2.4GHz and the benefits it provides.
The LoRa Edge LR1120 adds Semtech’s LoRa 2.4GHz connectivity as an added connectivity option for higher throughput, and reducing the complexity of deploying tracking solutions globally. Additionally, LoRa 2.4GHz makes it possible to track and trace assets via a stream of data and updates no matter where in the world they are located. Customers can continuously track and trace their assets over thousands of miles due to the improved worldwide availability and coverage of IoT deployments. Customers also have the option of using higher throughput capabilities at 2.4GHz in private network deployments. It’s really quite impressive.
What are some of the most common use cases for the LR1120?
One of the most comment use case for LoRa Edge LR1120 is intercontinental logistics. Companies leverage our highly integrated, ultra-low power trackers with enhanced interoperability and more versatile connectivity for a simpler operation and global mobility across multiple regulatory regions. This eases the transition from one sub-GHz geographical region to the next, ensuring reliable connectivity and stable communication no matter the location. With the platform, cargo can be accurately tracked and traced from shipping container in the port of Shanghai to semi-truck in California, delivering a to warehouse.
Another popular use case is infrastructure monitoring. Agriculture and environmental monitoring require deployment in remote areas and tend to be very capital intensive. For example, farmers located in the middle of the U.S., who own thousands of acres, can deploy sensors that keep them informed on soil conditions. To remotely monitor how much water plants receive, IoT sensors transmit soil moisture data, triggering irrigation only when necessary to help their crops thrive. Access to a stream of data helps farmers better understand the status of their soil conditions, save money with precision irrigation and can increase animal welfare by monitoring their cattle’s behavior.
More broadly, what is Semtech’s perspective on the future of satellites in geolocation and asset management? What can we expect from the company in the next few years?
As we look to the future, offering reliable, seamless and cost-effective connectivity will be key in developing a smarter planet. The combination of terrestrial and satellite technology closes the connectivity gap for track-and-trace with a scalable, cost-effective solution benefitting many organizations and vertical industries across the globe. Our LoRa Edge LR1120 platform will help companies save money and headaches thanks to the expanded connectivity that enables customers to keep a closer eye on their assets. The latest developments on the LoRa Edge platform are continuing to show a demonstrable capability of bridging the connectivity gap with worldwide satellite signals to offer low-power ubiquitous connectivity across our planet.