Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ST claims first with long-distance LoRa SoC

William Payne
January 16, 2020

European semiconductor maker ST has launched what it claims is the world's first LoRa system-on-chip (SoC) for connecting smart devices to the IoT using long distance wireless connections.

The STM32WLE5 SoC is designed to allow product developers to create devices such as remote environmental sensors, meters, trackers, and process controllers that help efficiently manage energy and resources

The SoC combines ultra-low-power STM32 micro-controller design with a LoRa-compliant radio in a single-die and easy-to-use device. 

The integrated radio based on Semtech SX126x IP is engineered with dual high-power and low-power transmitter modes that cover the entire global sub-1GHz unlicensed frequency range from 150MHz to 960MHz, ensuring compatibility with LoRa networks in all territories. Hence, OEMs can use STM32WLE5 for all world markets, ensuring technical compatibility, and aiding operational efficiency and customer support. Sensitivity down to -148 dBm, and two embedded power amplifiers with up to 15dBm and up to 22dBm maximum transmit power available in the same package, maximise RF range.

In addition to the embedded LoRa modulation, the STM32WLE5 is also capable of (G)FSK, (G)MSK, and BPSK modulation thus allowing various alternative protocols including proprietary protocols. Moreover, high RF performance with low power consumption ensures reliable wireless connectivity and extends the run-time of battery-powered devices.

The micro-controller leverages ST’s STM32L4 architecture, which features the Arm Cortex-M4 core with DSP extensions and brings ultra-low-power technologies including dynamic voltage scaling and ST’s adaptive real-time ART Accelerator for zero-wait execution from Flash.

64Kbyte, 128Kbyte, and 256Kbyte Flash options let developers choose the optimal code and data storage density for the entire platform including application and radio.

“Our new wireless STM32 SoC extends the existing STM32W Wireless and simplifies new-product development while saving bill-of-materials costs and maximising system reliability and energy efficiency,” said Ricardo De Sa Earp, Micro-controller Division General Manager, STMicroelectronics. “In addition, by leveraging the STM32 MCU architecture, we let developers easily introduce wireless connectivity in existing embedded designs by porting to the STM32WLE5.”