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S3 Group Announces World’s First Fully Integrated, Single-Conversion Radio to Be Used in Devices, Transceivers and Modems Operating off the Iridium Network

S3 Group, announces the availability of the world’s first fully integrated, single-conversion radio transceiver, to be used in satellite communications devices, handsets, transceivers and modems that will operate off the current Iridium® network and the Iridium NEXT system. Iridium Communications Inc. is operator of the world’s furthest-reaching communications network and a vital part of the global communications infrastructure. Iridium NEXT is the most significant commercial space program underway today.

The fully integrated, single conversion radio transceiver, represents a radical innovation from the current dual conversion architectures, common in the Mobile Satellite Services space. This enables the lowest form factor and lightest Satellite Transmit and Receive modem in the world and further enables Iridium to substantially reduce form factor, power consumption and cost as well as to expedite delivery of products to market while enabling Iridium’s value added manufacturers (VAMs) and resellers (VARs) greater flexibility in embedding the Iridium data modems into their products.

This radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) is designed to be used in Iridium’s current L band satellite system, as well as Iridium NEXT, the forthcoming higher data-rate system, and includes a digital pre-distortion (DPD) algorithm which allows for greater flexibility in the choice of external critical components in the system.

"S3 Group delivered a working IC design to us for our next-generation devices, which delivers breakthrough improvements in size and performance. S3 Group previously delivered a working chipset for the Iridium 9602 SBD Modem. Their successful track record in the delivery of complex programs for Iridium made S3 Group a natural choice to develop the new RF IC for Iridium NEXT terminals,” said Scott Smith, COO, Iridium. “Their ability to put a multi-disciplined team of engineers with expertise in System design, RF, analog and digital design as well as the company’s leading-edge RF and mixed-signal IP portfolio, combined with program management expertise enables Iridium to stay at the forefront of the growing M2M market.”

Commenting on S3 Group’s latest success at Iridium, Dermot Barry, Vice President Semiconductor Solutions at S3 Group said, “S3 Group continues to offer innovative solutions to our customers. This was a highly complex, R&D program involving system design and leading edge RF IC development to which we brought our System Level solution capabilities, our silicon proven IP portfolio and our RF, analog and digital IC design skills, to bear. Once again we have proven that we can address innovative challenges which allow our customers to remain at the forefront of their markets, all the while reducing project risk and accelerating time to revenue of our customers’ products. We at S3 Group are proud of our long-standing relationship and history of innovation with Iridium and we hope to support further innovative engagements in the future.”