As devices supporting the next generation of mobile wireless technology come on stream and use cases based on them rapidly emerge, leading processor manufacturer MediaTek has announced it’s expanding its family of modems and chipsets to support the 5G RedCap standard and deliver 5G data rates and enhanced power efficiency to a broad range of internet of things (IoT) devices.

Over the course of the past few years, low-power wide-area (LPWA) technologies that were specifically developed for IoT applications have gained maturity and scale. Depending on the scope of the IoT deployments, the most suitable technology options for applications requiring a high data rate will likely be based on 5G.

RedCap is designed to bring the benefits of 5G to New Radio (NR) consumers, enterprise and industrial devices. Taking advantage of the evolution of 5G networks to the Standalone (SA) network architecture, RedCap promises to deliver reliability for devices that have low bandwidth requirements, offering many of the benefits of 5G without the cost and complexity of typical 5G services.

Industry experts believe 5G RedCap is the candidate technology best-suited for the needs of the medium-speed use cases. The RedCap standard has been developed to enable the production of smaller and more cost-efficient 5G devices and provide longer battery life, thanks to their reduced complexity.

The new offerings, the M60 modem IP and the MediaTek T300 chipset series are designed to make it easy for MediaTek to facilitate the transition to the 5G-NR standard for a wide range of applications that require long-lasting and efficient battery life, such as wearables, lightweight AR devices, IoT modules, and devices built with edge artificial intelligence in mind.

Said to be the world’s first 6nm Radio Frequency System-On-Chip (RFSOC) single die solution for RedCap, supporting up to 227 Mbps downlink and 122 Mbps uplink data rates, the MediaTek T300 series has been built to allow OEMs to capitalise on the emerging RedCap market and create designs for enterprise, industrial, consumer, AR and data-card applications. Built on the TSMC 6nm process, the MediaTek T300 series integrates a single-core Arm Cortex-A35 in a more compact PCB area.

Both the T300 series and the MediaTek M60 5G modem IP support the 3GPP R17 standard and combine MediaTek’s industry-leading power efficiency with coverage enhancements and extremely low latency. By using MediaTek’s UltraSave 4.0 technology and reducing what it said are unnecessary paging receptions, the M60 offers up to a 70% reduction in power consumption compared with similar 5G eMBB offerings, and up to 75% power savings compared with 4G LTE services.

Overall, MediaTek believes its RedCap offerings are driving a new wave of efficiency, reliability and cost-savings for 5G-enabled devices across the consumer, enterprise and industrial sectors to meet ever-evolving connectivity requirements and expectations.

“Our RedCap solutions are a significant part of our mission to democratise 5G, providing our customers the ability to optimise components and deliver 5G-enabled devices from a range of applications and a range of price points,” said JC Hsu, corporate senior vice-president at MediaTek.

“The migration to 5G RedCap will replace legacy 4G/LTE solutions, offering significantly better power efficiency and more reliable user experiences compared with leading edge 5G eMMB modem solutions and legacy 4G LTE Cat 4 and Cat 6 devices.”

The MediaTek T300 series devices will sample in the first half of 2024, with commercial samples in the second half of 2024.

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