Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Altair and Ethertronics reduce size of cellular wearables

Steve Rogerson
September 11, 2018

Israeli chipset company Altair Semiconductor and Ethertronics, a California-based subsidiary of AVX, have developed antenna technology to reduce the size of IoT wearable devices without sacrificing performance.

The technology will be demonstrated within a cellular IoT wearable concept at this week’s Mobile World Congress Americas in Los Angeles. It combines Ethertronics' small antenna with Altair's ALT1250 dual-mode Cat-M1 and NB-IoT chipset algorithms. 

"Ethertronics is a recognised leader in antenna design and tuneable components, making it an excellent partner for developing this concept," said Dima Feldman, head of product management for Altair. "Combining Altair's modem algorithmic capabilities with a world class antenna designer has resulted in the smallest antenna design for cellular wearable devices and other tiny IoT devices, setting a new standard for antenna performance that improves coverage, power efficiency and overall user experience."

The ALT1250 is an integrated dual-mode Cat-M1 and NB-IoT chipset, with low power consumption to extend battery life. It includes GNSS location positioning, an RF front-end supporting all commercial LTE bands within a single hardware design, a hardware-based security framework and an internal application subsystem.

"Until now, wearable device manufacturers have struggled to reduce the size of their products without sacrificing cellular coverage and overall performance," said Olivier Pajona, chief scientist for Ethertronics. "Altair's antenna tuning algorithm and leadership in integration, together with our expertise in antenna design, paves the way to developing the smallest and highest performing wearable devices."

The prototype will be demonstrated by Altair at Mobile World Congress Americas from September 12 to 14 in Los Angeles.

Ethertronics’ active steering antenna technology provides performance enhancements for throughput, range, efficiency and reliability across a range of applications, from 5G to wifi and the IoT. Ethertronics has shipped more than 1.8 billion antenna systems that are being used by wireless handset and device manufacturers worldwide.

Altair Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Sony Semiconductor, provides LTE chipsets. Its portfolio covers the spectrum of cellular 4G market needs, from supercharged video-centric applications all the way to low power, low cost IoT and M2M.