Orca Systems Announces World’s First Fully Integrated SoC Solution for Direct-to-Satellite IoT Connectivity


Orca Systems Announces World’s First Fully Integrated SoC Solution for Direct-to-Satellite IoT Connectivity

Press release from: Orca Systems
Posted: Thursday February 17th 2022

Orca Systems, a fabless semiconductor company delivering breakthrough digital RF technology, today announced its first wireless system-on-chip (SoC) solution for the satellite Internet of Things (IoT), the ORC3990. The company, which focuses on cost-effective, low-power wireless solutions for IoT applications, designed and developed the fully integrated ORC3990 SoC to meet the requirements of satellite-based IoT connectivity. Orca Systems’ New SoC Solution Provides Enabling RF Technology for Totalan innovator in IoT connectivity, enabling direct indoor operation via satellite on Totum’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network.

Founded in 2004 as a provider of digital RF intellectual property (IP) and semiconductor design engineering services, Orca Systems transitioned to a fabless semiconductor business model in 2018. This crucial transition was made possible by Orca Systems’ development, refinement and integration of a comprehensive set of critical IP Technologies for RF and digital communications applications. Orca Systems’ RF, analog, digital transceiver, and power management technology assets served as the SoC building blocks and key elements of the ORC3990 design. These core competencies, combined with Orca Systems’ innovative systems architecture and semiconductor design/integration expertise, have enabled the company to support partners like Totum with highly integrated digital RF solutions. offering the highest performance, lowest total system cost and lowest power consumption.

“By quickly delivering the first successful silicon to meet our project timelines, 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, provides the lowest cost two-way terminals in the industry with a 10-year battery life. is a game-changing technology for satellite-based IoT connectivity.”

A ground terminal based on Totum satellite technology for a LEO network using the ORC3990 SoC requires minimal BOM. The external components are reduced to a temperature compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO), passive filters and switches, a PCB antenna and a battery. For simple and compact “tracker-on-a-chip” applications supporting global connectivity and positioning, a sub-$10 endpoint solution is possible based on the ORC3990 SoC – a cost point that expected to generate high volume demand.

“Orca’s unique architecture lends itself to integrating everything required in an IoT-focused SoC application,” said John McDonough, CEO of Orca Systems. “Building the ORC3990 SoC with GlobalFoundries’ 22nm FD-SOI 22FDX technology has ensured a low-cost, low-power SoC solution that will be highly competitive in today’s market. Our innovative approach to IC design leverages extensive reuse of our SoC architecture, circuitry, and methodologies, enabling us to deliver first silicon within one year of design for our partner Totum.

Details ORC3990 – World’s First Fully Integrated SoC Solution for Direct-to-Satellite IoT Connectivity

The ORC3990 SoC integrates all required system functions into a single, cost-effective device in a very small 68-QFN package. A core element of the SoC design includes Orca Systems’ flexible third-generation Live Wireless™ RF and digital radio subsystem, which has been customized to support the requirements of Totum’s LEO satellite network. Additional building blocks integrated into the ORC3390 SoC include Low Noise Amplifier (LNA), Digital Power Amplifier (PA), Totum Satellite Modem, Power Management Unit (PMU) subsystem including all analog blocks, Dual Arm Cortex-M0+ processors to separate network and application processing, all necessary memory (volatile and nonvolatile) for embedded processors, required security features, and major analog and digital peripherals.

On-chip sensors provide the temperature of an ORC3990-based IoT endpoint. The device supports a suite of digital and analog interfaces allowing it to seamlessly connect to sensors that detect temperature, humidity, shock, vibration, and flow.

Orca Systems is the exclusive supplier and manufacturer of the ORC3990 SoC for Totum and its partners. To help expedite development and time to market, Orca Systems and Totum provide comprehensive documentation including datasheets, application notes, evaluation/demonstration charts, and software SDK. For more information, visit www.orcasystems.com.

About Orca Systems

Orca Systems is a champion of always-on wireless connectivity, offering a revolutionary portfolio of low-power digital RF transceivers for the growing IoT semiconductor market. Patented Orca Live Wireless RF™ digital radio and digital power amplifier (DPA) technology delivers ultra-low power consumption to extend the battery life of IoT devices. Proven silicon-based Orca Live Wireless RF™ digital transceivers are available to select customers as IP cores, known chips (KGD), and packaged ICs. IP cores are optimized for integration into SoC devices for the cheapest, smallest, and most power-efficient IoT SoC products. Orca Systems is headquartered in San Diego, California with an exceptional research and development center and state-of-the-art laboratory in Bangalore, India.

Kelly Poffenberger

green flash

[email protected]


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