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.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.