Semtech's LoRa Edge LR1120 Packs Sub-GHz, Wi-Fi, and Satellite Connectivity Into a Tiny Tracker Chip

Offering cloud-powered geolocation from GNSS or Wi-Fi, this triple-band QFN32 chip offers a range of features for low-power asset tracking.

Long-range low-power communications specialist Semtech has announced a new entry in its LoRa Edge device-to-cloud radio chip range, the LR1120 — offering global coverage and support for satellite-based networks.

"Semtech’s LoRa is targeting track and trace challenges faced by the logistics industry today with a geolocation IoT [Internet of Things] platform adapted to global transportation and mass-scale asset management," claims Marc Pégulu, vice president of IoT product marketing at Semtech. "With the launch of multi-band LoRa support, coupled with LoRa Cloud services, it has never been easier to expand ubiquitous IoT connectivity and geolocation globally."

The successor to the company's popular LR1110 chip, the LoRa Edge LR1120 offers support for sub-gigahertz, 2.4GHz, and licensed S-band operation — the latter used for satellite communication — with multi-technology geolocation spread across the GPS and GeiDou global navigation satellite services (GNSS) for outdoor use and Wi-Fi location for indoor use or poor signal areas. Both run through the company's LoRa Cloud geolocation solver, which the company says cuts the power required by geolocation considerably for boosted battery life.

It's the satellite functionality that makes the new part stand out. "Combining LoRa with small, relatively low-cost LEO satellites will change the game for LoRa and IoT," opines Strategy Analytics' Christopher Taylor in support of the company's latest launch. "Adding satellite communication capabilities in the S-band to LoRa can help replace aging SCADA monitoring and opens up new applications and markets, especially in remote regions. So far, LoRa has attracted the interest of several satellite companies including EchoStar and Lacuna."

The new chip also boasts integrated cryptographic capabilities, including hardware-accelerated AES-128 encryption and decryption, support for LoRa Alliance-defined device parameters including DevEUI and JoinEUI, and secure storage of the LoRaWAN NwkKey and AppKey. It's also fully compatible with the company's LoRa Cloud platform, offering a Cloud Join Server for secure deployment with free geolocation for the first 4,000 queries and free Join Server use for the first 25 device claims.

More information on the LR1120 is available on the Semtech website, though the company has not yet disclosed pricing publicly.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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