M2M modules target high throughput and long-term use even after 2G switch off

March 02, 2011 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Telit Wireless Solutions is launching the Telit HE863 – the first model in a new module series. The HE863 is a powerful, low-cost and fully equipped HSPA M2M module in a ball grid array (BGA) form factor with embedded GPS receiver. It is intended for data transmission devices with a long lifetime that are intended for long-term use even after 2G network switch-off and require high throughput. Examples include smart metering, healthcare, surveillance and tracking applications.

Smart metering devices such as electricity and water meters have been in use for several years. For this reason, many manufacturers are already using 3G data transmission to future-proof their products against non-availability of the 2G network. Previously Telit only offered 3G technology in connectorised products. To complete the product range, the HE series now includes 3G modules with BGA technology for the first time.

Telit’s aim is to offer a wide spectrum of mobile communication and assembly technologies to respond to the requirements of all market segments. Because they are so affordable, BGA packages are very suitable for medium- to high-volume applications. The customer benefits from two factors. Firstly, BGA modules are cheaper to process so unit prices are lower. Secondly, the material costs of the product are reduced as no board-to-board connectors are required.

BGA modules are fitted by means of a grid of solder balls on the underside of the package. BGA technology is easy to process and permits a high number of inputs and outputs on a relatively small footprint. Thanks to the good surface connection the BGA form factor also offers excellent heat dissipation from the product. The HE863 measures a compact 31.4 x 41.4 x 2.9 mm. The solder balls are spaced further apart than with most other BGA systems (2/2.5mm compared with 0.8/0.5mm), making for easier assembly. All models in the series have the same footprint for maximum compatibility.

The HE863 supports quad-band GSM, GPRS/EDGE multislot class 33, 3GPP stack Release 6 and dual-band HSPA with 5.76 Mbps (uplink) and 7.2 Mbps (downlink). There are three pin-compatible variations of HSPA (900/2100, 850/1900 and 850/2100) to enable global use. Telit supplies the module with an optional embedded GPS/A-GPS receiver.

All models in the HE series, which will be launched in stages between now and mid-2011, have very low power consumption. The modules can be used in a temperature range of -30 °C to +85