World’s First SoC Solution for Direct-to-Satellite IoT Connectivity

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The product includes flexible, third-generation Live Wireless RF and digital radio subsystem for seamless connectivity

The ORC3990 by Orca Systems is the world’s first wireless system-on-chip (SoC) solution for the satellite Internet of Things (IoT), which focuses on cost-effectively meeting the demands of information collection and monitoring via satellite IoT connectivity.

The ORC3990 SoC integrates all required system functions into a single, cost-effective device in a very small 68-QFN package. An essential building block of the SoC design includes Orca Systems’ flexible, third-generation Live Wireless RF and digital radio subsystem.

Additional function blocks integrated within the ORC3390 SoC include a low noise amplifier (LNA), a digital power amplifier (PA), a satellite modem, power management unit (PMU) subsystem including all analogue blocks, dual Arm Cortex-M0+ CPUs for separate network and application processing, all necessary memory (volatile and non-volatile) for the on-chip CPUs, required security functions, and key analogue and digital peripherals.

On-chip sensors provide the temperature of an ORC3990-based IoT endpoint. The device supports a suite of digital and analogue interfaces for seamless sensor connection that detects temperature, humidity, shock, vibration and flow.

“Orca’s unique architecture lends itself to integrating everything required in an IoT-focused SoC application,” said John McDonough, CEO of Orca Systems. “Manufacturing the ORC3990 SoC with GlobalFoundries’ 22FDX 22nm FD-SOI technology assured a cost-effective, low-power SoC solution that will be highly competitive in today’s market.”

The ORC3990 enables RF technology for Totum, an innovator in IoT connectivity for direct-to-satellite, indoor operation over Totum’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network. A Totum satellite technology-based terrestrial endpoint for the LEO network using the ORC3990 SoC requires a minimal bill of materials (BOM). External components are reduced to a temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO), passive filters and switches, a PCB antenna and a battery. For simple, compact “tracker-on-a-chip” applications supporting global connectivity and positioning, a sub-US$ 10 endpoint solution is possible based on the ORC3990 SoC – a cost point expected to drive high-volume demand.

“By rapidly delivering successful first silicon to meet our project deadlines, Orca Systems enabled Totum to quickly demonstrate communication from the ground with our SoC-based endpoint to our satellite network in record time,” said Ted Myers, CEO of Totum, “The ORC3990 SoC, with its high level of integration and low power requirements, enables the lowest cost bidirectional endpoints in the industry with 10-year battery life. This is game-changing technology for satellite IoT connectivity.”


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