Gaining visibility and traceability into a supply chain or logistics network has traditionally been difficult and expensive. This is chiefly because tracking an asset has usually entailed equipping it with a battery-hungry GNSS tracking device that would have a relatively short life depending on how frequently it would share its location.
HERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location services, and Altair Semiconductor, a leading provider of cellular IoT chipsets, are working together to change that.
Today, the two compnies announced a partnership to integrate HERE tracking and positioning software into Altair’s ALT1250 dual-mode LTE Cat-M1/NB-IoT chipset. The synergies between HERE’s software and Altair’s advanced algorithms will enable HERE customers, system integrators and tracking device manufacturers to significantly reduce device time to market and provide hardware-based security. The two companies plan to reduce overall power consumption of an end-to-end tracker application by optimizing the way the device communicates with the cloud. The integration will be demonstrated at this year’s Mobile World Congress Americas.
The combination of HERE location technology for high-accuracy end-to-end tracking of assets and the ALT1250’s comprehensive IoT capabilities, will help customers create broad new enterprise business models as well as drive new efficiencies across their organizations.
The technology’s low cost makes it a good fit for tracking indoors and outdoors in many scenarios. These include the tracking of non-powered factory or construction equipment, warehouse inventory, roll cages and packages moving through a logistics network. The technology enables long battery life, obviating the need to re-charge a device.
How it works
The ALT1250 is the market’s most highly integrated dual-mode Cat-M1/NB-IoT chipset. It includes a GNSS receiver, an RF front-end supporting all commercial LTE bands within a single hardware design, a hardware-based security framework and an internal application MCU subsystem. The integration of HERE tracking and positioning software means the chipset will be able to locate itself using the strength of cellular signals, even when it is not possible to obtain a GNSS fix. The chipset can take advantage of the ability of HERE to provide online and offline positioning based on its database of cellular towers.
The ALT1250 has the lowest power consumption available in the cellular IoT chipset market, thus significantly increasing battery-life and allowing for smaller and lower cost IoT devices. With HERE software integrated, it can, over a lifetime of years, provide tens of thousands of updates on its status, such as its current location and, if on the move, its route and ETA. When utilized together with HERE Tracking, a fast and flexible IoT location platform, customers have a complete tracking solution that works out of the box. This means a customer simply needs to sign up to the HERE Tracking on-boarding portal to register devices, define geo-fences and settings, and then monitor tracked assets via a web or mobile dashboard.
“We are excited to work with Altair Semiconductor to smash down the cost barriers that have prohibited supply chains from effectively tracking their moving parts,” said Erminio di Paola, Head of Tracking at HERE Technologies. “The chipset’s blend of high performance tracking, low power consumption and affordability makes tracking a viable option today for a wide variety of uses and scenarios.”
“HERE Technologies is an excellent partner for driving Altair’s ultra-low power IoT chipsets into the location and tracker market segment,” said Lavi Semel, Director of Product Management at Altair Semiconductor. “By integrating HERE software into the ALT1250, customers will benefit from the synergy of both technologies, and reduce their time to market because the HERE software will already be included inside the ALT1250’s SDK.”
The integration will be demonstrated by Altair at Mobile World Congress Americas in Los Angeles from September 12-14.