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White space spectrum chip approved for M2M use

13 Feb 2013
Iceni Neul Weightless Silicon chip

A chip designed to allow devices to send information using white space spectrum has been approved by the Weightless Special Interest Group (SIG) in what could be a major boost for machine-to-machine communications.

The chip, called Iceni (pictured above) and developed by Cambridge firm Neul, will allow manufacturers of devices to be able to send information over any part of the UHF spectrum between 470MHz and 790MHz without the need for licences.

The Iceni chip will now be made available by Neul to selected partners for testing and development and the chief executive of Neul, James Collier, said that the opportunities the technology presented were huge for silicon firms.

"With a forecasted five to 10 billion devices to be shipped per year, this is a market that is bigger than cellular, and one that will support as many as a dozen major silicon vendors," he said.

"The Weightless SIG already has silicon companies as members, and we expect a number of them to develop their own silicon."

Matthew Bailey, a member of the Weightless SIG, told V3 that the development of the first chip could have a huge impact on numerous issues as it will allow the transmission of data at a cost and technology level never before possible.

"GSM infrastructures could cost around $4bn to set up and that wouldn't even cover the whole country and would cost a lot to run each month but with this technology it can be run at a much lower cost and achieve greater coverage," he explained.

"This will allow businesses to own their own networks and send information between devices, so healthcare providers could share information or you could update in-car software and receive diagnostic information back."

Bailey added that he expects the first live use of the technology to take place in the coming months and would have a huge impact on the UK market.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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