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Ceva reference platform that accelerates M2M design to be demonstrated at MWC

Steve Rogerson
February 10, 2016
Signal processing IP company Ceva has introduced the Dragonfly reference platform to accelerate the design of low-data-rate M2M and IoT communications applications, including standalone wearables, smart grid, surveillance systems, asset tracking, remote monitoring systems, connected cars and smart utilities.
The platform is enabled by the recently announced Ceva XC5 and XC8 digital signal processing (DSP) cores and accompanied by the hardware and software components required to design machine-type communications (MTC) systems rapidly. The platform supports existing and emerging LTE MTC releases, LPWAN standards (such as LoRa, Sigfox and Ingenu), in addition to Wifi, GPS or other IoT-related communications standard set to be deployed for M2M communication.
At this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ceva will demonstrate the Dragonfly reference platform running LTE Cat-0 and GPS concurrently on its silicon-based development platform together with test and measurement equipment from Keysight Technologies and a GNSS simulator from Galileo Satellite Navigation.
“The Ceva Dragonfly reference platform delivers exceptional performance for implementing our software-based GNSS receivers in devices within a stringent power budget,” said Eli Ariel, CEO at Galileo Satellite Navigation. “Our software receiver solution perfectly complements Ceva’s software-based approach to design flexibility and long service life MTC systems design, allowing customers to carry out performance improvements and new features in the field, including upgrading to future satellite systems.”
Dragonfly offers system developers a flexible platform that allows for optimal hardware-software system partitioning, combining a low-power vector communications DSP with a range of hardware co-processors. Such partitioning enables the software flexibility for upgradability and long service life of typical M2M devices, while delivering the power efficiency required to support extended battery life of up to ten years.
As an example, for licensees developing M2M systems incorporating LTE Cat-1 or Cat-0 today, these systems can be upgraded to support LTE Cat-M or other standards when available. The DSP can also be used to implement proprietary features for specific device use cases, such as seamless indoor and outdoor positioning concurrently with Wifi 802.11n or LTE Cat-0.
“Our Dragonfly reference platform brings together all of the essential hardware, software and system integration components required by customers developing low-power machine-type communications, in a highly cost and power efficient manner,” said Michael Boukaya, vice president and general manager at Ceva. “We have leveraged our deep expertise in low-power baseband processing and complemented it with a range of software offerings to deliver a platform that is highly customisable and flexible for developing a broad range of IoT and M2M products, quickly and efficiently.”
The platform includes the vector communications DSP and all the required co-processors and interfaces, together with software application layers and libraries, real-time operating system, and drivers for MTC systems design. These hardware and software components are available for LTE MTC, Wifi and GNSS standards. Also included is a 500MHz silicon-based development system that includes all these components together with RF front-ends and a host interface.
“Low-data rate LTE is a key building block of machine-type communications and, together with Ceva, we are simplifying the process of integrating LTE connectivity into IoT devices,” said Denis Bidinost, chief executive officer of Next G-Com. “Our AlpsLite protocol stack is the industry’s first 3GPP Cat-0 stack specifically designed for IoT applications and our optimised implementation for the Dragonfly platform leads the industry in terms of power efficiency and reliability.”
Rabih Chrabieh, CEO of Nestwave, added: “Accurate positioning, both indoor and outdoor, will be a fundamental component of many M2M applications and our CellNav technology delivers this accuracy utilising the existing LTE network infrastructure. Using the Ceva Dragonfly platform, customers can integrate CellNav into their MTC product designs, enabling reliable location tracking in devices that can last years in the field on a single battery.”