The ‘world’s smallest’ 3G modem is not much bigger than a US one-cent coin.
Intel revealed its XM 6255 3G modem – what the company claims is the ‘world’s smallest’ – for connecting the Internet of Things (IoT) today, on August 27, 2014.This includes everything that is used by people on a daily basis like a coffee machine that can be turned on with a mobile application. The size of the chip is about 300 mm², which is not much bigger than a US one-cent coin.
The modem connects a device to a cellular network which can link the device with billions of other devices like wearables, sensors and security equipment. 3G modems have been in production since 2001 when NTT Docomo first started its 3G wireless data network in Japan.
Ever since then, more than a billion modems have been shipped, with the size of the chips becoming smaller each year.
With the introduction of this product, what is clear is Intel’s intent on gaining a foothold in the mobile connectivity market. However, analysts believe that Intel has set its eyes on the Internet of Things market, where connectivity is key.
Intel’s XMM 6255 modem includes a SMARTi UE2p transceiver component which requires only a small amount of electrical power. The chip is designed to withstand tough conditions and is expected to protect the device against overheating.