In an effort to gain a strong foothold in the Internet of Things market, Intel has unveiled a tiny modem aimed at providing 3G network connectivity to IoT devices. Dubbed XMM6255, the modem is about 300mm squared in size, making it perfect for networked sensors and other IoT applications such as wearables, security devices, and industrial equipment.

The modem features a SMARTi UE2p transceiver, which is based on Intel's Power Transceiver technology. According to the company, it is the industry's first design to combine transmit & receive functionality with a fully integrated power amplifier and power management, all on a single chip.

The XMM6255, which comes in a dual-band HSPA configuration with 7.2Mbps downstream and 5.76Mbps upstream speeds, is built to protect against overheating, voltage peaks, and damage under tough usage conditions.

It also features a unique radio architecture that enables it to perform exceptionally well in challenging real-world situations. For example, it can provide reliable communication in low-signal zones like a parking garage or a home basement, and can be embedded in devices having small form factors like a smartwatch or a sensor.

Intel said the modem is currently available in the u-blox SARA-U2 module, and it expects to have updates on additional partnerships in the coming months.

Market research firm IDC predicts there will be 212 billion connected IoT devices by 2020.