In November 2014 Lime announced the production availability of the second generation field programmable radio frequency (FPRF) chip, the LMS7002M. Overshadowed by this news, perhaps, was the price reduction applied to the first generation device (LMS6002D).
Lime took the dramatic step of reducing the sample quantity price of LMS6002D from $110 right down to $35. This unprecedented price move is aimed at fast-tracking the uptake of FPRF technology – which was already a successful product.
Those customers who had designed the device into their products on the basis of the original price are obviously already winners. And if the volume hits 5000 units, then the price drops even further to just $15.
LMS6002D has already been designed into products as diverse as mobile base stations, asset tracking, SDR boards and military radios. The new price point opens it up to a far wider range of possibilities. There is a lot of press interest in IoT (the so-called “Internet of Things”). This spans from connecting domestic appliances communicating over a few meters range, through to some sophisticated industrial applications (sometimes termed “IIoT”). Asset tracking is an example where the LMS6002D device is used to communicate via a satellite. This is an excellent example of a high-end machine-to-machine application.
But the new price opens up programmable wireless technology to many more applications in commercial designs, through academic and research projects, and on to hobbyists. It’s definitely a case of “limited only by your imagination”.
Let’s face it: you would struggle to source dual 40 MHz 12-bit ADCs and DACs for that price, let alone the RF filters, mixers etc. In fact, Lime has calculated that it can be viable to use the part just for some of the individual components, leaving the rest depowered.