imec and Holst Centre’s solution consists of a transmitter, receiver front-end, and receiver digital baseband. The transmitter delivers 13dBm peak power, with an average power consumption of 3.3mW. The receiver front-end shows -88dBm sensitivity at 1Mbps. A digital synchronization algorithm enables real-time duty cycling, resulting in a mean power consumption of 3mW. A DCO with 100ppm frequency accuracy and a baseband frequency tracking algorithm ensure coherent reception. A 75dB link budget with a data rate of 1Mbps is achieved.
The companies claim that this is the first ultralow-power integrated solution for the 6-10GHz band. Target applications include battery-operated applications in the area of personal area networks and positioning sensors worldwide, such as short-range video streaming or around-the-body audio streaming (e.g. between a headset and a smartphone). The companies report that when using the UWB radio for the wireless streaming of audio between a smartphone and an earpiece, the battery lifetime of the smartphone will increase by over 3x compared to a conventional Bluetooth-based solution, and the earpiece will have a battery lifetime increase of over 5x.
Companies can have access to this technology by joining imec and Holst Centre’s R&D program on ultra-low power wireless systems. More information can be found here.