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MediaTek Eases Transition to NB-IoT

December 26, 2017

Author: Mike Demler

MediaTek’s MT2621 integrates two RF front ends, supporting connections to legacy 2G GSM/GPRS networks as well as new Cat-NB2 IoT networks. It also integrates a Cortex-M4 sensor hub. The MT2621 allows both radios to operate in parallel using the same SIM card and a single antenna, but more importantly, it enables connected devices to avoid obsolescence when operators shut down and repurpose their 2G GSM networks.

Besides providing cellular connectivity, the MT2621 also integrates a Bluetooth 4.2 radio. The company targets fitness bands and wearables as well as security monitors and other IoT devices, so it built in an audio front end and amplifier. The Bluetooth capability enables the MT2621 to make phone calls and stream audio via wireless earbuds. The chip includes LCD and camera interfaces, but MediaTek withheld details. Like its predecessor, it integrates a PMU as well.

Although competitors such as Sequans and GCT have introduced highly integrated NB-IoT/Cat-NB1offerings, MediaTek took the lead as the first vendor to announce Cat-NB2 support. By implementing both legacy 2G and emerging NB-IoT, the MT2621 will be attractive to M2M-device manufacturers looking for a low-cost chip that can remain in the field long past 2G’s expiration date.

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