The UK’s Neul has launched what it claims to be the world’s first white-space chip, which has been designed with M2M and wireless broadband applications in mind.
The company, which is behind efforts to develop an M2M communications standard known as ‘Weightless’, says its ‘Iceni’ chip works across the entire 470–790MHz frequency band and provides a low-cost, lower-power option for M2M applications.
So-called ‘white space’ spectrum has been freed up with the transition from analog to digital broadcasting and looks well suited to providing long-range connectivity and good in-building coverage.
Neul (Cambridge, UK) says the Iceni chip supports both 6MHz and 8MHz channel bandwidths and conforms to all white-space regulatory requirements.
The company operates white-space networks on four continents and is building out white-space infrastructure around the world that is specifically designed to support wireless data growth, including “the expected billions of M2M … connections”.
It claims that devices integrating the Iceni chip can access the white-space networks at a fraction of the cost of using wired or cellular connections.
“When we looked at existing solutions and compared them to the promise of white space, we uncovered an opportunity to help build smart infrastructure and applications at huge cost savings, without sacrificing bandwidth or reliability,” said James Collier, the founder and chief executive of Neul. “The Iceni chip allows us to connect to devices that were previously unreachable … [and] opens up entirely new options for connectivity in healthcare, transport, education, heavy industry and more.”
The Iceni chip is based on the ‘Weightless’ standard, which Neul is eager to see adopted as a global standard for M2M traffic.
The supporters of ‘Weightless’ include UK chip designer ARM Holdings (Cambridge, UK) and telecoms operator Cable & Wireless Worldwide (Bracknell, UK), now a wholly owned subsidiary of mobile operator Vodafone (Newbury, UK).