Intel launches world’s smallest modem

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To prepare for the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) and help device makers create more sought-after gadgets, American chipmaker Intel has unveiled the “world’s smallest standalone 3G modem.”

Known as the XMM 6255 modem, its miniature size of 300 mm2 makes it ideal for IoT devices such security tools, smart appliances, wearable computers and even industrial equipment.

The modem’s tiny size was made possible by Intel’s SMARTi UE2p transceiver, which features the company’s latest power transceiver technology, making it “the industry’s first design to combine transmit and receive functionality with a fully integrated power amplifier and power management, all on a single chip.”

XMM 6255’s design also requires fewer components. This results in a smaller modem and helps hardware manufacturers slash their material costs. Additionally, its simple design is expected to reduce device development costs.

“It also protects the radio from overheating, voltage peaks and damage under tough usage conditions, which is important for safety monitors and other critical IoT devices,” said the company.

Furthermore, the device comes with radio architecture, meaning it can receive and transmit in various environments. For example, it has low signal network coverage for areas with poor reception like basements and car parks. It also comes with a small 3G antenna, making it suitable for sensors and wearables like smart watches.

The XMM 6255 modem is currently offered in the U-blox SARA-U2 module series, but Intel plans to collaborate with other companies in the near future.