Tech

Altair Now Sells LTE Chips for Raspberry Pi 3

By | Nov 30, 2016 07:56 AM EST
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Raspberry Pi 3

Miniature computer Raspberry Pi 3 will soon support low-throughput cellular connections, which can allow users to control the device over long distances. (Photo : YouTube)

Miniature computer Raspberry Pi 3 will soon support low-throughput cellular connections, which can allow users to control the device over long distances. Altair recently announced that the firm has finished testing its ALT1160 Category 1 LTE chip on the Raspberry Pi 3 and it is ready for roll out.

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Altair said that the chip is ready for sale. The LTE chip will be integrated into various add-on expansion boards from various third-party partners, according to PC World. The chips cost around $15 to $20 each, although Altair said that the company will offer discounts when dealing with bulk orders.

Altair claims that its LTE chips are supported by multiple network providers around the globe. The firm added that drivers and software required for its LTE chips to work on a Raspberry Pi are also ready for roll out.

Currently, the Raspberry Pi 3 supports Wi-Fi connectivity. With the introduction of cellular communications feature to the miniature computer, users can essentially control the device even if they are halfway around the globe.

Raspberry Pi devices are integrated into gadgets, drones, robots, and smart devices. However, the computer's Wi-Fi support limits its communication range.

The Altair LTE chips can transfer data of up to 10Mbps, according to WRCB TV. This is relatively slower compared with the 600Mbps reported speed of the Apple iPhone 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S7. However, most smart devices usually require less bandwidth for communications, a factor that helps these devices conserve battery life.

Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said, "For cost and engineering reasons there is no current plan to integrate LTE functionality into the core product itself."

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