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Focus M2M Machine-to-machine In this issue: • Supplier News • Market Trends • Inside the Mind of • Spotlight: Sierra Wireless • M2M Apps in Action • Top 10 Tips for Selecting a Cellular Radio • Product Spotlight and more! IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013


your REACH OUT TO US Wish you had your own design advisor? Richardson RFPD works alongside you to provide support, products and solutions for your design vision. No need is too big or too small for our 150 global technical resources. We’re here when you need us. Reach out anytime.

SUCCESS STORY # 114 A leading manufacturer of GaN RF components for wireless communications needed a user-friendly test fixture for customers to try out their new device, but didn’t have resources to develop it. Richardson RFPD provided the technical expertise needed by quickly creating a test fixture solution that identified proper impedance matching and avoided resonant frequency issues, thus enabling customers to easily test the device for their system requirements.


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IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013


Focus Spring 2013

Contents Letter from the President.................................................4 Supplier News.................................................................5 Market Trends............................................................. 5-6 On the Road...................................................................6 Inside the Mind of...........................................................6 Spotlight: Sierra Wireless.................................................7 M2M Apps in Action................................................... 8-9 Top 10 Tips for Selecting a Cellular Radio................ 10-11 Product Spotlight.................................................................... 12

Visit the M2M Tech Hub, brought to you by Richardson RFPD, for the latest news on M2M innovations and product releases.

IN FOCUS is published by Richardson RFPD. Date of publication: April, 2013 Š2013 Richardson RFPD. All rights reserved. All brands and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013



President As part of a recent interview, I was asked if I am encouraged by any particular emerging application or technology. My answer? M2M. From a growth percentage and activity point of view, I see M2M as a strong leader for Richardson RFPD in 2013. M2M solutions — using a broad array of technologies, from WiFi to blue tooth and 4G — have gained significant traction. I see more and more people interested in M2M, and there’s an important trend of smaller companies building up some portions of the M2M market. Richardson RFPD offers a broad range of M2M wireless connectivity products, from low cost embedded modules to full-function gateway solutions designed to address diverse applications, such as public safety, oil and gas, utility, mobile data, transportation, medical, and the transaction processing markets.

Greg Peloquin

The exciting developments happening in M2M applications made it a natural choice for our debut edition of Richardson RFPD’s IN FOCUS magazine. We hope you enjoy it. I see great things in store for our company and M2M. And I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our new publication.

President, Richardson RFPD



IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013

Supplier News

Market Trends

Richardson RFPD Introduces High Efficiency, 4G Antennas from Taoglas

Global M2M Market worth $85.96 Billion by 2017 According to a recent market research report, “Machineto-machine (M2M) Market Global Forecast & Analysis (2012 - 2017) by Hardware Components, Technologies & Applications� published by MarketsandMarkets, the total M2M market is expected to reach $85.96 billion by 2017 at a CAGR of 26.1% from 2012 to 2017.

The high performance, ultra-wideband LTE antennas include through hole, adhesive and connector mount external antennas, as well as internal, surface mount, on-board and off-board, flexible polymer antennas. The entire range of devices is ideally suited for emerging wireless applications such as M2M.

Richardson RFPD Introduces New CloudGate M2M Gateway from Option

The Machine-to-machine market has been witnessing rapid growth in the past 2 to 3 years. This is mainly attributed to the rise of cloud computing technology and the smartphones market. In addition, there have been growing numbers of regulatory mandates in favor of M2M technology, which, in turn, have been driving M2M-based innovations for use across different applications. However, lack of technology awareness and the initial high cost associated with the development and deployment of the solution are slightly hindering the market growth.

The CG0192-11897 CloudGate M2M gateway provides competitively priced LAN to WWAN routing and GPS functionality in a single SKU unit that utilizes the Option Gobi3000 multi-mode module, and is certified on all major US cellular operators (CDMA/EV-DO and WCDMA/HSPA+).

Richardson RFPD Introduces Easy-to-Use, Rugged, Industrial, Cellular CDMA 1xRTT Modems from Maestro Wireless Solutions The M100CDMA has been certified by regulatory bodies as well as Tier 1 network operators, including Verizon and Sprint, eliminating the need for additional costly and lengthy carrier approvals. Compact, with a high voltage range and resistant to power surges, the device can easily be integrated into demanding industrial applications from electricity meters to intrusion alarms, vending machines and other M2M applications.

Some of the key hardware components used in the development of M2M solutions include sensors, actuators, RFID, memory, power modules, and communication modules. The communication module is observed to hold the highest share in the M2M market and expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 32.4% from 2012 to 2017. With respect to the technologies utilized to achieve communication, 2G networks are widely deployed as they offer sufficient bandwidth and extend support to a variety of low-cost embedded data networking modules. While this technology holds the highest share of 35.5% as of 2011, ZigBee is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 33.8% from 2012 to 2017. This is mainly due to its low power consumption, low cost, and fast connection time for end devices. Amongst the different application sectors that utilize M2M-based solutions, the consumer electronics sector provides the most potential opportunities, followed by automotive and transportation. With the rise in government regulations to ensure the safety and security of vehicles, the automotives and transportation sectors are expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 33.5% from 2012 to 2017. cont. on page 6

IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013


Market Trends cont. from page 5

The concept of partnerships amongst embedded device manufacturers, solution providers, and M2M network operators has emerged as a global ecosystem in the M2M market. This, in turn, is expected to leverage their sales and marketing channels. The M2M market space is seen to provide low marketing cost and longer life cycles. Mobile network operators (MNOs) are expected to be highly benefited by this market with loads of potential growth opportunities. The global M2M market is expected to grow from $21.52 billion in 2011 to $85.96 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of 26.1% from 2012 to 2017. Asia-Pacific is projected to have the highest growth rate. This is mainly attributed to the growing technology awareness and rapid fall in availability of human labor for execution of critical tasks.

On the Road Visit Richardson RFPD at Booth# 6434 at the CTIA Wireless 2013 M2M Zone in Las Vegas, NV on May 21-23. CTIA Wireless 2013 is a premier wireless event showcasing product offerings pertaining to the wireless, telecom and broadband industries. The event will be representing the most dynamic segments of the telecom industry: wireless and converged communications, wireless broadband, applications, mobile CE, mobile web and data. Exhibitors will showcase products like wireless streaming, navigation, visual telecommunication, mobile IP, intelligent home appliances, PDA, mobile PC, wireless LAN, content, card, telematics & internet ITS devices, systems, portal solutions, antennas, bluetooth chips/protocol stack/devices and much more.

Inside the Mind of Fernando Morales IN FOCUS gets the inside scoop from industry experts. We caught up with Fernando and asked him to give us a peek at his M2M crystal ball... M2M is a dynamic, rapidly growing space; what are the challenges in the short run? The complexity of building and deploying devices that include integrated wireless connections, and their related applications, is definitely the key issue for M2M developers. And how is Sierra Wireless meeting that challenge? We are leveraging processing capabilities and dedicated M2M functionality inside the wireless module, as well as pre-integrated cloud services. By doing that, we provide our customers with a simpler, faster, and more cost-effective way to develop and deploy their M2M solutions. Do you already have products in production that combine those functions? Yes, we have been shipping AirPrime™ modules enabled with embedded processing capabilities on our open application framework, secure cloud services, for several years. Our next generation AirPrime™ modules are the first in the world to combine a powerful multicore processor, secure cloud services, and open application framework to offer an entire M2M ecosystem on a module. We all know that M2M applications cover a broad spectrum. Can you give us an example of how one of your products is facilitating something that would entertain the everyday consumer? Sure. Inwindow Outdoor relies on our AirLink GX440 4G LTE gateway to support the heavy data transfer, real-time user statistics, and remote management required to keep their interactive advertising displays relevant. Fernando Morales is the Director of Sales at Sierra Wireless.


IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013

Supplier Spotlight: Sierra Wireless AirPrime™ SL Series Sierra Wireless AirPrime™ SL Series offers smart connectivity for consumer and industrial applications. With its programmable capabilities, the AirPrime SL Series enables shared processing to reduce the size and cost of the final product. Its standard 25 x 30 mm LGA (Land Grid Array) package allows fully automated manufacturing for high-volume production. Available in 2G (EDGE) and 3G (HSDPA, HSPA+, EV-DO) versions, the AirPrime SL Series presents an easy upgrade path to next-generation network technologies.

AirPrime SL6087 The AirPrime SL6087 quad-band 2G GSM / EDGE module natively supports a complete embedded application framework. AirPrime SL808x The AirPrime SL808x offers dual-band 3G HSDPA connectivity (up to 3.6 Mbps downlink) and quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE network access. It offers worldwide coverage. AirPRIME SL809x The AirPrime SL809x is one of the smallest high-speed 3G HSPA+ modules in the industry, featuring voice, antenna diversity, and GPS support. It offers tri-band or dual-band HSPA+ connectivity with data speeds up to 14.4 Mbps on the downlink and 5.7 Mbps on the uplink, as well as quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE. AirPrime SL301x The AirPrime SL501x is a dual-band 2G CDMA 1xRTT module. It offers data speeds up to 153 kbps on the downlink and up to 153 kbps on the uplink, and supports GPS. SL5010 is data+voice; SL5011 is data only.

AirPrime SL9090 The AirPrime SL9090 is one of the smallest high-speed 3G Multimode HSPA+ and EV-DO modules in the industry, featuring voice, antenna diversity, and GPS support. It offers quad-band HSPA+, dual-band EV-DO, and quad-band GSM / GPRS / EDGE connectivity with data speeds up to 14.4 Mbps on the downlink and 5.7 Mbps on the uplink. AirPrime SL Universal Development Tools (Old) A Universal “Quick Start” development kit is available to support SL series development. Socket-up modules are available for each specific module version and carriers. AirPrime SL Universal Development Tools for SMT Modules (New) This is a new development platform that allows for development with SMT modules and also programming of the modules.PN 6000550 is an SL Universal Development kit with no accessories; PN 6000471 is an SL Universal Development kit with full accessories.

AirPrime SL501x The AirPrime SL501x is a dual-band 3G EV-DO Rev A module. It offers data speeds up to 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and up to 1.8 Mbps on the uplink, and supports GPS. SL5010 is data+voice; SL5011 is data only.

IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013


M2M Apps in Action A DIVERSE LINEUP Wireless networks that are interconnected can serve to improve production and efficiency in various areas, including machinery that works on building cars and on letting the developers of products know when certain products need to be taken in for maintenance and why. Such information serves to streamline products and keep them working at highest efficiency. Richardson RFPD carries a variety of Sierra Wireless products to complement your M2M applications. Wind Monitoring Remote telemetry connections to monitor sensors in the field and report back via cellular with an easy-to-use smart interface such as the AirLink™ Raven XE (Ethernet) or Raven XT (RTS-232) Remote Monitoring Remote telemetry for any data logging or control application where the sensors are remotely located. Raven XT gateways or M100 modems provide fast and reliable cellular communications. Green Energy Maintenance Monitoring PV solar panels last at least 25 years, where as inverters only come with an 8-10 year warranty. That means that sometime in the 8-10 year range the inverter will die and the system will stop producing energy. With a monitoring system in place the user realizes that their solar electricity system is no longer producing energy. Irrigation Controls Remote telemetry connections to pivot controllers allows the farmer to control and monitor irrigation operation. Raven XT or M100CDMA would be excellent choices for this application.


Solar Panel Remote Monitoring Remote monitoring of solar panels for data retrieval or theft protection reduces costs and increases productivity of technicians in the field. Often cellular backhaul solutions, such as a Raven XE or M100 modem are networked with low power ISM radios to expand the number of panels monitored. Water/Wastewater Treatment Water/Wastewater datalogging applications are extremely cost effective. Water sensors are connected via cellular gateways or modems to service technicians or monitoring facilities remotely. Raven XE or M100EVO. Agriculture Tractor Planting Control Remote telemetry control with GX400 HSPA+ 3G with WiFi to monitor agriculture tractor plowing and planting. WiFi is used to download data at the end of the day’s operation. These customers generally want a complete software solution such as ALEOS, which comes on all Airlink products. Irrigation/Soil Monitoring Irrigation can be scheduled based on time, volume of water, or automatically from sensor readings, as well as monitoring the amount of irrigation required. Raven XE, Raven XT or M100/Fastrack.

IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013

Power Generation Remote telemetry backhaul connections to the utility for electric, gas and water meters. Raven XE, GX400, Fastrack Xtend or M100 modems, depending on the level of software performance required by the customer. Refineries Remote monitoring and datalogging via cellular gateways. Raven XE, GX400, Fastrack and M100s. Most customers want a plug-and-play solution with no hardware and software development. Flow Monitoring, Industrial Monitor water level, gate position or automate the whole canal system, with cellular gateway remote backhaul monitoring and control. Tank/Pump Monitoring Monitor and control a pump that is filling a remote tank using both ISM and cellular connectivity. ISM radios are often deployed on the tank and/or well site(s) that are difficult to access. The equipment operates autonomously but transmits the tank level and pump real-time status information via cellular gateways or modems to your computer.

Frost Monitoring, Industrial The user can use a simple temperature field station or utilize an ET station, which is capable of remote monitoring for a variety of conditions. ISM radios are often networked with sensors, connected to the cellular gateway or modem to report the the data. Data can be used to activate wind machines, pumps, and valves for remotely monitoring weather parameters. Raven XE/Raven XT SCADA and Process Control Remote scalable SCADA RTU products, which allow users to start with simple I/O-only units and expand with their needs to PLC-based logic units with extensive I/O and embedded web servers. Cellular gateways and modems provide monitoring service. To learn about more about how Richardson RFPD can provide an M2M solution for your unique application, contact a design advisor today at

from low-cost embedded modules to full-function gateway solutions for applications

IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013


Top 10 Tips for Selecting a Cellular Radio MAX WIDMER

The primary goal of cellular radio systems — providing communication services to a large number of wireless data, video and mobile users — has become increasingly challenging in light of the rapidly evolving demand for these services and the resulting call for higher bandwidths and data rates in backhaul telecommunications systems, all at lower costs. To meet these demands efficiently, it is important to carefully consider an array of factors when choosing the cellular radio that best suits your needs. The following “top 10” tips are based on Richardson RFPD’s deep technical expertise supporting the latest products from the leading suppliers in cellular radio technology. The tips are discussed at a level of detail appropriate for new cellular radio designers as well as more experienced designers who are either presented with a unique design challenge or are simply looking for a way to standardize a decision-making checklist. Tip 1: Determine required data speeds: 2G, 3G, 4G? This is a fundamental decision that will affect not only the functionality of the embedded processor, but the associated costs and longevity of the ultimate device. It’s important, in many cases, to design for the fastest speeds. In fact, many carriers are moving to the faster data speeds sooner than expected. AT&T, for example, is already phasing out 2G in New York City because the network became so rapidly congested, and for the same space, the carrier can have twenty-five 3G users for every one 2G user. On the other hand, designing for the newer technology, in this case the faster data speed, will also mean higher associated costs. Tip 2: Choose your network technology: CDMA or GSM? Understanding the differences between CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is integral to choosing the right network technology for your needs. Generally speaking, CDMA is wellestablished, uses better technology, is more efficient, offers cheaper data plans (at this point), has better throughput, and is less susceptible to noise. Possible downsides, depending on your needs, include its geographic limitations (U.S. and Canada, only) and more expensive hardware. GSM basically covers everywhere else in the world, though GSM networks continue to make inroads in the U.S. Tip 3: Pick your interface: connectorized, surface mount, Mini PCIe? The PCI Express Mini Card (Mini PCIe) is about as industry-standard as you can get. They’re on tablets, laptops, routers, you name it, and it’s the easiest integration option. Surface mount, at the other extreme, requires laying out the entire PCB around the module that you are trying to integrate. A connectorized (proprietary) interface is somewhere in the middle. You do not have to lay out the entire board, but you do have to lay out the specific connector. Tip 4: Keep an eye on production volume when deciding between modules and modems. Are you deploying so many units that it make sense to pay for development and certification? If so, a module would make sense. Or do you want simplicity and a ready-to-go solution? In that case, think modem. As a general rule of thumb, if you will be deploying fewer than 3,000 units, a modem is a better choice than a module, because the modem is fully integrated with hardware and fully certified. If you choose a module, the final device has to be certified (that’s industry and carrier certifications), which can run $20K and up — a decision which makes sense at higher quantities where you will recoup your certification and hardware development costs. Tip 5: If choosing a modem, plan your peripheral needs. So you’ve decided on a modem, now it’s time to think about the peripherals. What will be needed? What kind of software requirements does the customer have? Modems can have expansion cards, and you have choices: USB, WiFi transceiver, Ethernet port, etc. What will your application need? The more choices you make now, the smoother your design process will be — and the easier it will be to control costs.


IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013

Tip 6: Match your carrier choice to your application and market needs. Each carrier has its own nuances that make it unique in the market, and it pays to take note of existing carrier features and trends. For example, in the U.S., AT&T is doing away with its 2G coverage in favor of 3G, while Verizon and Sprint are attempting to capitalize by promising longevity in their 2G offerings. In Canada, Rogers is mirroring AT&T’s move away from 2G. And while Bell Canada and Telus Networks may be picking up the slack there, it is simultaneously true that nearly all carriers in both countries are moving their 4G offerings toward LTE. Whether LTE will live up to the hype and promises that surround it is yet to be seen. Tip 7: Consider who will be providing the data plans for the deployment. MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) are smaller companies that buy wholesale minutes and/or plans from the bigger carriers and then redistribute them to M2M customers. MVNOs exist to serve the M2M space in ways that the big carriers do not (yet) — making it easy for customers to deploy their M2M products by pooling data plans for cost savings and offering easy internet platforms that monitor SMS/data usage. Tip 8: Identify the necessary professional services: who will produce or assist in the software and/or hardware development? If you’ve chosen a module (vs. a modem, see Tip 4), you’ll need to consider both software and hardware development,as well as factors like electromagnetic interference (EMI), proper RF channel for a well-situated antenna, software developments, and application programming interfaces (APIs). With modems, you only have to consider the software development. A “smart” modem has an integrated operating system that allows customization similar to a home router; whereas a “dumb” modem needs a host’s OS platform, so you will still have to customize software to integrate the modem with the OS. Tip 9: Map out supply logistics. A company that offers extensive worldwide logistics services that amount to a total supply chain solution can greatly simplify things for you. Look for features like same day shipments to domestic customers, extended hours “on call” support, ship scheduling to meet JIT (Just In Time) or future planned need dates, consolidated shipments to domestic and international locations, special packaging options, freight carrier coordination, and special product testing or acting as the 3rd party logistics provider. Tip 10: Don’t forget about accessories. When planning out your accessories, pay special attention to the antenna — it plays an important role, particularly in relation to types of modules, and is often a crucial component to successful certification and deployment. Other accessories to consider include: data cables like the RS-232; cable assemblies such as the U.FL to SMA, or SMA to SMA extension; and signal boosters in low coverage areas. Max Widmer is an M2M Applications Engineer at Richardson RFPD. He works directly with customers to get them up-and-running with an M2M unit, supporting deployments on cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and ISM networks. By also working closely with M2M accessory vendors, data plan providers and certification houses, Max is able to speed customers through design cycles and deployment options. If you have a question for Max, contact him at

IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013


Product Spotlight Maestro Wireless is a leading manufacturer of low cost CSR/ SirfStar IV chipset-based GPS modules. Maestro’s flexible family of GPS modules combine best acquisition sensitivity technology with ultra-low-power consumption in small form factor GPS modules to fit multiple customer application requirements. •

The A2100-A (3.3V/14mA typ@1 or5 fix/sec) and A2100-B (1.8V/26mA typ @ 1 fix/sec) modules are focused on low-power consumption by using a low-power DC-to-DC convertor, as well as providing flash memory to allow for the flexibility for firmware upgrades.

The A2200-A (3.3V/41mA @ 1 fix/sec) is a size-reduced module designed for small footprints and high volume manufacturing. The module is based on the A2100-A architecture but reduces size and cost by using low-cost LDO technology and ROM memory.

A2035-H (3.3V/29mA @ 1-5fix/sec) is a smart antenna combination module that features the A2100-A GPS module integrated with a tiny patch antenna for ease of design.

The Linx MicroSplatch™ is an alternative for those wishing to avoid the high cost, long lead times or limited frequency choices of chip antennas. The MicroSplatch™ antenna represents a groundbreaking advance in Linx’s reflow-compatible planar antennas. Using advanced simulation tools, Linx designed the MicroSplatch™ with performance similar to its standard Splatch antenna, but only uses one-third of the critical board space. The small size and low cost makes it an excellent choice for handheld devices such as remote controls and small data transmission systems. Adding the MicroSplatch™ to a design is simple—the only things needed are a footprint for the antenna and associated proximity ground plane. The MicroSplatch™ is available in the 403 MHz, 418 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz, 916 MHz and 2.4 GHz bands. Custom designs within the 400 MHz to 3 GHz range are available.

Designed for wireless mobile computing, mobile consumer, and networking devices, Sierra Wireless AirPrimeTM MC Series embedded wireless modules are based on the PCI Express MiniCard standard with a USB 2.0 interface. They are designed to work with high-speed networks worldwide, including EV-DO Rev A, HSPA and LTE networks.

Products and Suppliers From low-cost embedded modules to full-function gateway solutions, Richardson RFPD distributes a complete range of M2M wireless connectivity and embedded solutions products from the world’s leading suppliers.


IN FOCUS: M2M I Richardson RFPD I Spring 2013

M2M IN FOCUS magazine