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Efficient Low-Cost Implementation of NB-IoT for Smart Applications

NB-IoT is an emerging technology for narrowband wireless communication standardized by 3GPP. It has been designed with a focus on minimizing end-user equipment processing requirements and power consumption to enable the massive deployment of low-cost devices for a broad range of smart applications. This white paper highlights the key challenges of NB-IoT modem design. It proposes a hardware/software architecture concept based on a single small CPU/DSP processor for executing a NB-IoT software stack. We detail the DSP capabilities of such processors and illustrate their effective use with efficient implementations of key NB-IoT software kernels. We conclude that a NB-IoT modem can be implemented in software on a small processor like the Synopsys’ DesignWare® ARC® EM9D, thereby achieving low cost and low power consumption.

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