editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Atmel Gives SIGFOX a Transmitter

You may recall that, some months ago, we wrote about SIGFOX. As a quick review, SIGFOX is installing a completely new cellular system optimized for low-data-rate IoT sensors rather than for voice and Youtube. As a French company, they started the build-out in their European neighborhood, but they are supposedly starting their North American build-out now.

Of course, for this to be successful, you have to have devices that can talk to the network. And if the designers of those devices have to cobble together their own discrete circuits or – worse yet – design their own custom SoCs, well, that’s a pretty big barrier.

It would be so much easier if there were a merchant-market chip available that implemented the SIGFOX protocol – both PHY and stack.

And now there is: Atmel has announced the ATA8520 transmitter – the first SoC to pass SIGFOX’s qualification tests. It consists of the RF block, baseband processing, and an AVR microcontroller for executing the SIGFOX stack and other control functions. Data, as well as other control functions, is entered via an SPI port. The chip has an “OFF” mode that’s not quite off – more like a sleep mode – and reduces current to around 5 nA.

Block_diagram.png (Image courtesy Atmel)

The ATA8520 would typically be driven by a system microcontroller or processor; that processor would be freed of any of the details of SIGFOX transmission (traded off for SPI).

Now… all we need is a receiver to listen to all the news being broadcast by the transmitter…

You can read more in their announcement.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Sep 25, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at different ways of accessing a single bit in a memory, including the use of multiplexors.] Today we'€™re going to look more specifically at memory cells '€“ these things we'€™ve been calling bit cells. We mentioned that there are many...
Sep 25, 2020
Normally, in May, I'd have been off to Unterschleißheim, a suburb of Munich where historically we've held what used to be called CDNLive EMEA. We renamed this CadenceLIVE Europe and... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site...
Sep 24, 2020
I just saw a video from 2012 in which Jeri Ellsworth is strolling around a Makerfaire flaunting her Commodore 64-based bass guitar....
Sep 24, 2020
Samtec works with system architects in the early stages of their design to create solutions for cable management which provide even distribution of thermal load. Using ultra-low skew twinax cable to route signals over the board is a key performance enabler as signal integrity...

Featured Video

Four Ways to Improve Verification Performance and Throughput

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

Learn how to address your growing verification needs. Hear how Cadence Xcelium™ Logic Simulation improves your design’s performance and throughput: improving single-core engine performance, leveraging multi-core simulation, new features, and machine learning-optimized regression technology for up to 5X faster regressions.

Click here for more information about Xcelium Logic Simulation

Featured Paper

The Cryptography Handbook

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

The Cryptography Handbook is designed to be a quick study guide for a product development engineer, taking an engineering rather than theoretical approach. In this series, we start with a general overview and then define the characteristics of a secure cryptographic system. We then describe various cryptographic concepts and provide an implementation-centric explanation of physically unclonable function (PUF) technology. We hope that this approach will give the busy engineer a quick understanding of the basic concepts of cryptography and provide a relatively fast way to integrate security in his/her design.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Digi Remote Manager

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Digi

With the complexity of today’s networks, the proliferation of IoT, and the increase in remote access requirements, remote management is going from “nice to have” to “critical” in network design and deployment. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Stefan Budricks of Digi International about how Digi Remote Manager can address your remote management and security needs.

Click here for more information about DIGI XBee® Tools