HiSilicon, Nowi improve energy-autonomous NB-IoT platform

July 01, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
HiSilicon, Nowi improve energy-autonomous NB-IoT platform
Nowi Energy BV (Delft, The Netherlands) and HiSilicon Technologies Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China) have introduced the second generation of their energy autonomous NB-IoT platform.

A PCB measuring 5.5cm by 3.5cm carries Nowi's NH2 PMIC for energy harvesting and HiSilicon's Hi2115 NB-IoT cellular modem and acts as a sensor hub. Although the Hi2115 is extremely low power and can in battery-backed operations can produce lifetimes of many years, the Nowi-HiSilicon board removes the need for the manual intervention of changing batteries or cabling to supply power in applications which become zero maintenance.

With a photovoltaic energy source the board can typically be set up for about three data transmissions per day in artificial or low light conditions or 6 to 9 transmissions per day in outdoor lighting conditions.

The Hi2115 chip is part of the legacy gained by HiSilicon when Huawei acquired Neul Ltd. (Cambridge, England) in 2014. HiSilicon is the chipmaking subsidiary of Huawei.

The HiSilicon chip is the second generation of the Boudica family of chips; supports Release-14 NB-IoT with integrated baseband, transceiver, power management unit, application processor, application peripherals and memory. Supports 3GPP modes of operation DRX/eDRX/PSM and operates in bands from 450MHz to 2180MHz.

The development builds on the success of the 2019 collaboration (see Huawei puts Dutch energy harvest PMIC next to NB-IoT SoC). After initial protype deployments HiSilicon and Nowi have optimised the design to resolve customers' challenges and to satisfy stricter market requirements. The board provides an open slot on which various sensors can be placed depending on the application.

These aplications could include almost any low data, long range requirements including but not limited to:  smart grid, traffic monitoring and management, security and asset tracking, white goods and automotive servicing data and diagnostics, patient monitoring and tele-health, smart city applications such as waste management, pest control, environmental monitoring, building climate control.

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