CEVA and ASTRI Unveil Dragonfly NB1, a Licensable NB-IoT Solution For Cost and Power-Sensitive LTE IoT Devices

  • Pre-integrated Release 13 Cat-NB1 modem IP solution composed of CEVA-X1 processor, optimized RF and baseband software reduces time-to-market and lowers entry barriers
  • Software configurable solution, allowing seamless addtion of support for GNSS and sensing
  • Silicon reference design for NB-IoT and GNSS, including RF available this June


(2 March 2017, Hong Kong) – CEVA, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEVA), the leading licensor of signal processing IP for smarter, connected devices, and Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) today introduced Dragonfly NB1, a comprehensive cost- and power-optimized NB-IoT solution aimed at streamlining the development of LTE IoT devices. Reference silicon of the complete modem design, including embedded CMOS RF transceiver, advanced digital front-end, physical layer software and third party protocol stack (MAC, RLC, PDCP, RRC and NAS) will be available this June.

Dragonfly NB1 leverages CEVA’s long heritage of low power DSPs and modem design and ASTRI’s vast experience in RF and IC Design technologies. Together, the companies have collaborated to produce a complete M2M endpoint solution that offers best-in-class performance and power consumption, that is easily integrated into a SoC. Dragonfly NB1 not only reduces the time taken to get NB-IoT products certified, but also provides Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) SoC designers with a flexible, software-upgradeable platform with key benefits in terms of die size and power consumption:


  • The Dragonfly NB1 solution is enabled by a single CEVA-X1 IoT processor, capable of running the complete PHY and protocol stack software for NB-IoT in addition to other associated workloads such as GNSS and sensing. It eliminates the need for additional processors and hardware accelerators in the SoC and allows in-the-field upgrades to Release 14 eNB-IoT and other future releases.
  • The CEVA-X1 IoT processor architecture includes specialized NB-IoT instructions and mechanisms to speed up PHY, MAC and encryption execution, further reducing clock speed and power consumption. It can also support other LPWA standards and workloads such as Cat-M1, LoRa, SigFox and voice.
  • Dragonfly NB1 solution incorporates highly power-efficient multi-standard RF with embedded PA, LNA, DC-DC and DCXO technology for NB-IoT and GNSS (GPS and BeiDou), shortening development time and reducing the overall module bill of materials.


Memory is a critical consideration for NB-IoT, as it directly influences the cost, silicon area and  overall form factor of the module. Dragonfly NB1 is specifically designed to operate with embedded flash by incorporating an optimized low latency memory subsystem with a dedicated cache controller. The solution also includes a specialized security unit for a fully-trusted system.

CEVA and ASTRI have teamed up with GMV, a major player in navigation system and solutions  to offer an integrated GNSS solution for smart devices with location tracking of logistics, assets, wearables and more. The GNSS IP is available as an add on software that runs on the CEVA-X1 together with NB-IoT and leverages ASTRI’s GNSS RF IP that is embedded into the solution. GMV’s software IP supports all four GNSS constellations: GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS and Galileo. The flexibility enabled by running the GNSS constellations fully in software on Dragonfly NB1 allows seamless switching between constellations when required or to run multiple constellations concurrently in order to improve resolution further and offer a truly global asset tracking solution.

Michael Boukaya, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Business Unit at CEVA, commented: “In the coming years, NB-IoT will become the dominant technology for low power wide area connectivity. For most companies, understanding how to develop this technology is a daunting task. To overcome this, we have worked relentlessly with ASTRI to develop a complete solution from the ground up, that removes the design burden and allows SoC designers to add NB-IoT connectivity to their product designs. We’re extremely excited to announce this solution and demonstrate our leadership in IP for NB-IoT.”

Dr Frank Tong, Chief Executive Officer at ASTRI commented: “We’re pleased to partner with CEVA to address the cellular IoT market opportunity. Our joint development efforts have resulted in a highly-integrated modem solution with integrated RF that delivers outstanding performance and is power-optimized for the most rigorous NB-IoT use cases. We look forward to continuing our collaboration as we help our mutual customers get to market.”

Miguel Manuel Romay Merino, Executive Director of GNSS at GMV, commented “Dragonfly NB1 with its multi-mode RF and dedicated IoT processor is a perfect match with GMV’s software GNSS product. It provides full flexibility in using multiple constellations, either separately or concurrently to serve the various requirements specific to asset trackers, wearables and other IoT endpoint devices.”


Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.  ASTRI’s core R&D competences in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Opto-electronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. ASTRI hosts Hong Kong Branch of National Engineering Research Centre for Application Specific Integrated Circuit System (CNERC) since June 2012. CNERC mainly focuses on IC design areas such as NB-IoT, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), visual computing, financial technologies, electrostatic discharge (ESD) and input/output design, the 3rd generation power semiconductor and packaging. For further information about ASTRI, please visit www.astri.org.

About GMV

GMV is a privately owned technological business group with an international presence. Founded in 1984, GMV offers its solutions, services and products in very diverse sectors: Aeronautics, Banking and Finances, Space, Defense, Health, Security, Transportation, Telecommunications, and Information Technology for Public Administration and large corporations.

About CEVA, Inc.

CEVA is the leading licensor of signal processing IP for a smarter, connected world. We partner with semiconductor companies and OEMs worldwide to create power-efficient, intelligent and connected devices for a range of end markets, including mobile, consumer, automotive, industrial and IoT. Our ultra-low-power IPs for vision, audio, communications and connectivity include comprehensive DSP-based platforms for LTE/LTE-A/5G baseband processing in handsets, infrastructure and machine-to-machine devices, computer vision and computational photography for any camera-enabled device, audio/voice/speech and ultra-low power always-on/sensing applications for multiple IoT markets. For connectivity, we offer the industry’s most widely adopted IPs for Bluetooth (low energy and dual mode), Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac up to 4×4) and serial storage (SATA and SAS). Visit us at www.ceva-dsp.com and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.


For more information, contact:

Eunice Cheng
+852 3406 2517
[email protected]

Richard Kingston
CEVA, Inc.+1 650-417-7976
[email protected]

Publitek (Pinnacle Division)
Simon Flatt
+44 20 8869 9229
[email protected]