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Semtech Discusses New Connectivity Trends

The market is currently witnessing a heightened interest in intelligent, scalable and cost-effective global asset tracking solutions. This demand is accelerated by the urgency to enhance end-to-end logistics 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 offer an overview on the recently announced LoRa Edge LR1120 product. What does this cool product bring to Semtech's portfolio?

Semtech's recently announced LoRa Edge LR1120 technology allows for direct satellite-connected IoT applications in logistics 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 the 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 the 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 that are historically costly and complex.

What is the advantage of direct satellite-connected IoT?

Satellite technology plays a substantial 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 ability 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 incredibly low-power geolocation platform.

To give you an example, rural areas without any available terrestrial networks now have connectivity for individuals employed in these hard-to-reach places. This could be at oil fields in the desert or offshore rigs, where it might be impractical and prohibitively expensive to send personnel to gather sensor data. Connecting satellites to IoT devices across vast remote areas around the world set up 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 offers.

The LoRa Edge LR1120 adds Semtech's LoRa 2.4GHz connectivity being an added connectivity choice for higher throughput, and reducing the complexity of deploying tracking solutions globally. Additionally, LoRa 2.4GHz makes it possible to track and trace assets using a stream of data and updates wherever on the planet they're located. Customers can continuously track and trace their assets over a large number 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 much 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 could 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 instance, farmers found in the center of the U.S., who own thousands of acres, can deploy sensors that have 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 comprehend the status of the 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 way forward for satellites in geolocation and asset management? What can we expect in the company within 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 mixture of terrestrial and satellite technology closes the connectivity gap for track-and-trace having 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 because of the expanded connectivity that enables customers to have a closer eye on their assets. The latest developments around the LoRa Edge platform are continuing to show a demonstrable capacity for bridging the connectivity gap with worldwide satellite signals to provide low-power ubiquitous connectivity across our world.