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Chipzilla gives birth to a TINY comms chip

Eensy-weensy 3G for Internet of Things

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Intel has shrunk a 3G-plus-power amplifier combo with a 300 square millimetre footprint, which it's targeting at Internet of Things applications.

Chipzilla's XMM 6255, described here, is the world's smallest so far, the company says.

It's got 2G and 3G capabilities, and Intel says LTE is on the drawing board for the future. High speed isn't the main game here, since low power is of more import to thing-like applications. Reliability and mobility are, naturally enough, also on its mind.

Since the modem will be attached to other devices like sensors with a smaller profile than a mobile phone, Intel also says the XMM 6255 is designed to work with non-standard antennas.

Intel's XMM 6255

For example it cites “small volume antennas not meeting conventional mobile phone quality standards,” with reliable communications even “transmitting information in low signal zones like a parking garage or a home basement.”

At 7.2 Mbps the chip isn't going to set the world alight, but that's easily enough throughput for the occasional low-rate transfers of sensor data.

The XMM 6255 currently ships in the u-blox SARA-U2 module, and Intel is seeking additional partners. ®

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