Semtech’s LoRa GPS-Free Geolocation Solution for LPWAN Enables New-Age Tracking Applications

By WPG AmericasFebruary 26, 2017

Semtech Corporation, a global supplier of industry-leading analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, announced the inclusion of GPS-free geolocation capabilities into its LoRa® wireless RF solution for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

According to an announcement made by Semtech at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai last year, the GPS-Free Geolocation will integrate added features that will make it compatible with the version two LoRaWAN gateway infrastructure reference design and all existing LoRaWAN™ end nodes.

“We project fifteen billion connected devices by 2020,” said Emil Berthelsen, Principal Analyst at Machina Research. “Of those billions of devices, over half will include geodata and about one-third will critically depend on it.”

The LoRa GPS-Free geolocation solution is powered by version two LoRaWAN gateways that precisely share the common time base, adding ultra-high resolution timestamps to each incoming LoRa data packet.

Each base station will support metadata enabling location solvers, which will facilitate accurate time reporting based on differential time of arrival (DTOA) algorithms to ascertain the end node position to the nearest block.

“This is an exciting enhancement to our already proven LoRa wireless RF solution,” said Jaap Groot, Vice President of System Business Development for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Product Group. “In order to serve the expected needs of companies using LoRa, our team developed groundbreaking technology to leverage the full potential of IoT. Adding geolocation to end nodes without increasing the bill of material or draining the batteries should open up a new arena of use cases and is expected to drive substantial revenue streams for LoRaWAN network operators.”

Key Features of Semtech’s LoRa® GPS-Free Geolocation Solution

Semtech's LoRa GPS-Free geolocation solution will enable a wide variety of applications in diverse markets including construction, automotive, agriculture, logistics, insurance, consumer, and defense, where the determination of location plays a crucial part in the overall solution.

The inclusion of GPS-Free Geolocation capability will enable organizations to garner the advantages of geodata at low power, decreased cost, and reduced environmental impact.

Prime Benefits of Semtech's LoRa GPS-Free Geolocation Solution

Lowest Power

  • No processing of location in the sensor
  • No "time on air" needed to transmit the location data
  • Determination of Geolocation can be achieved even with the smallest LoRaWAN packet

Decreased Cost

The new Geolocation functionality is fully compatible with the existing LoRa end nodes, essentially eliminating any further additional costs while delivering optimized security for data and location.

  • No GNSS or other hardware in the sensor
  • Smaller battery as no sensor power is used in getting location
  • Compact size, including electronics, battery, and enclosure

Reduced Environmental Impact

  • Minimized sensor hardware including electronics, battery, and case size
  • Most of the sensors are fitted with a lifetime battery

According to Machina Research, there will be nearly 15 Billion IoT connected devices by the end of 2020, out of which more than one-third will be entirely dependent on geodata, and close to 60% will potentially integrate location enablers in their applications.

Semtech's LoRa GPS-Free geolocation solution is ideally positioned to cater this exponential growth in demand by offering high performance, power efficient, GPS-free location capabilities across various industry verticals. For more information about Semtech Corporation and the LoRa GPS-Free Geolocations Solution for LPWAN, please contact a WPGA IoT Specialist.