Concept: California’s fabless semiconductor company Orca Systems (Orca) has unveiled wireless system-on-chip (SoC) solution ‘ORC3990’ to meet the demands of satellite IoT connectivity. Orca’s technical assets in the RF (radio frequency), analog, digital transceiver, and power management domains are among the SoC building blocks and key elements.

Nature of Disruption: In a relatively compact 68-QFN package, the ORC3990 SoC integrates all essential system functions into a single, cost-effective chip. Orca Systems’ modular, third-generation Live Wireless RF and digital radio subsystem, which has been designed to match the requirements of Totum’s LEO satellite network, is a crucial component in SoC design. A low noise amplifier (LNA) and a digital power amplifier (PA) are two other function blocks included in the ORC3390 SoC. It includes the Totum satellite modem, as well as the power management unit (PMU) subsystem, which includes all analog blocks and twin Arm Cortex-M0+ CPUs for network and application processing. The solution offers both volatile and non-volatile memory for the on-chip CPUs, required security functions, and key analog and digital peripherals. The temperature of an ORC3990-based IoT endpoint would be provided through its on-chip sensors. The device has a variety of digital and analog interfaces that allow it to connect to temperature, humidity, shock, vibration, and flow sensors.

Outlook: Orca aims to revolutionize satellite IoT connectivity with its ORC3990 SoC. It claims to provide a high level of integration and minimal power consumption, as well as the industry’s lowest-cost bidirectional endpoints with 10-year battery life. For Totum, an American IoT connectivity startup, this SoC solution has delivered supporting RF technology, allowing direct-to-satellite, and indoor operation over Totum’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network. A minimal bill of materials (BOM) would be required for a Totum satellite technology-based terrestrial endpoint for an LEO network employing the ORC3990 SoC. It would also help reduce external components to passive filters and switches, battery, temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO), and a PCB (printed circuit board) antenna.

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