Sigfox-certified wireless transceiver SoCs, in distribution

August 26, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Distributor Alpha Micro has the pairing of two system-on-chip (SoC) wireless transceivers for use with the Sigfox low power cellular network. Aimed at providing global cellular network connectivity for low bandwidth Internet of Things (IoT) applications, the Sigfox network is being deployed across 60 countries in the next five years.

From AXSEM, an ON Semiconductor company, the AX-Sigfox and AX-Sigfox-API SoC devices comprise an ultra low power AXSEM 8052 microcontroller and an AXSEM AX5043 wireless transceiver, and are certified as being Class 0 "Sigfox Ready" denoting they are available for immediate operation as a Sigfox node. Controlled through a UART, the AX-Sigfox SoC can instigate connectivity with a host MCU by using the AT modem command set.

For straightforward IoT applications where the designer wishes to implement a single-chip solution and save the cost of a host MCU, such as a thermostat or actuator, the AX-Sigfox-API IC provides a solution. User application software can be run on the AX8052 MCU taking full advantage of the microcontroller's peripheral features that include an SPI Master, GPIO, an RTC, a 10-bit 500 ksps ADC and a temperature sensor. The SoC has 64 kB of flash memory of which 32 kB is available for a user application.

Sleep current of either device is down to 950 nA up to 45 mA when transmitting at 14 dBm output power. The receiver has a sensitivity of -129 dBm measured at a data rate of 600 bps with a power consumption of 10 mA. The supply voltage can be in the range of 1.8 to 3.6 VDC.

When using the AX-Sigfox reference design a complete Sigfox node transceiver can occupy a board area of 20 x 13 mm, with minimal supporting circuitry and additional cost.

Alpha Micro Components;