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Semtech adds SX1276/77/78 devices to LoRa platform

30 Oct 2013

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Semtech has released the SX1276, SX1277, and SX1278 devices, which incorporate the company's new LoRa (long range) spread spectrum technology, in addition to the standard GFSK modulation. The SX127X platform can be used for range, battery operation, and interference immunity and it can eliminate the need for repeaters and complex infrastructure, making it suitable for metering, automation, Internet-of-things (IoT), and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.

The SX1276, SX1277, and SX1278 are key end-node components in the long-range high-capacity network system offering from Semtech. Semtech's new SX127x platform incorporates LoRa (long range) spread spectrum technology, which has been utilised in other applications for a number of years but has not been available until today as a low-cost solution suitable for sensor networks. Using the LoRa technology, the SX127x family achieves a range of more than 15km (9 miles) in a suburban environment and 2km to 5km (3 miles) in a dense urban environment while operating under US, EU, Chinese, and Japanese regulatory limits. Most deployed systems for metering, security, or industrial automation are limited in range to 1-2km (less than 1.25 miles) in a suburban environment. The additional range provided by LoRa eliminates the need for repeaters in these applications, thus simplifying the system design and lowering the total cost of deployment.

The SX1276 covers all the major sub-GHz frequency bands while the SX1277 is a cost-optimised version targeted at applications that utilise data rates from 5kbps to 40kbps, such as security systems. The SX1278 is optimised for the rapidly growing smart meter market in China using the 470-510MHz band. All devices deliver over 100dB of blocking immunity to out-of-band interfering signals, which is a 15dB advantage over competing devices. Additionally, the SX127x family has a 25dB improvement over FSK devices for rejecting in-band interfering signals. This makes the device especially effective in industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM)-band applications, such as security and metering, because it provides immunity from sub-GHz frequency 4G/LTE signals. This immunity, combined with the SX127xx's linear RF front-end, makes it a reliable and robust solution for operating in the presence of strong interfering signals.

"The SX127x and LoRa are enabling long-range, high-capacity systems that have previously been unrealisable," said Marc Pegulu, Senior Director of the Wireless & Sensing Product Group. "The parts offer the long range, low power and capacity to handle millions of node transactions per day in a simple star network architecture. This provides significant advantages for existing metering solutions, as well as enables emerging IoT and public network applications."

The fast growth of the IOT/M2M market – predicted by industry analysts to total 50 billion nodes by 2020 – provides a great opportunity for the SX127x with LoRa technology. There is a dramatic need for an improved physical layer in this market for long range, low power for battery operation, and low cost for volume deployment. LoRa is the ideal solution to meet these needs and a great complement to 2G/3G GSM in this rapidly growing market.

The SX127x family supports GFSK, FSK, GMSK, and OOK modulation in addition to LoRa and is designed to support WMBus, IEEE 802.15.4g (SUN), FCC 15.247, ARIB T96/108, and EN 300-220, as well as other global standards and regulations.

The SX1276 (order code: SX1276IMLTRT) is available immediately in production quantities and is priced at $3.50 each in 1,000-piece lots.

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