Custom Search

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ultra-low power wireless: Definition and Technologies

This fresh article from Jack Shandle (see link below) provides a general overview of the use of ultra low power wireless in sports and fitness market. I tend to believe it represents a great deal of views from Nordic semiconductor. This has nothing wrong and should represent the majority view of the upfront players in this market, because Nordic is a leader in ultra low power wireless, who has its own solution for PC peripherals and solution using ANT for sports. Nordic is also a key member of Wibree SIG who is the relied on for the single mode Bluetooth/ULP chip.

Here is the Nordic definition of ultra low power wireless:

"Nordic bases its ULP definition on available battery power: ULP means the body PAN can run for a year or more on a single watch battery. It specifically refers to the CR 2032 coin cell. Translated into numbers, this means: (1) a capacity of 180mAh to be consumed over a year or more (average current of approximately 20μ A); and, (2) a peak current of just 20 mA because stressing the battery's instantaneous current draw damages the battery and reduces the total charge available."

Of course, this is for today. With the progress of battery technology (which is really slow though) and energy scavenging, some may think that ULP definition will also be more and more generous, which means the differences between this or that technology on the current consumption may not be that significant and some technologies that is not suitable for an application today may be able to get into the market tomorrow. But I believe that the human avid nature of "doing more with less" will rule the future and the destiny will be in favor of the technology that can do so and new application will be emerged to raise even harsher requirement of ultra-low-power.

The article also discloses the progress of Bluetooth/ULP, which I have not seen for a while. I still remember that when Wibree merged into Bluetooth, Dr. Mike Foley said "Specification is expected to be ready during first half of 2008." This updated info pours cold water to those Bluetooth/ULP hypes.

"This is well underway at the Bluetooth SIG where its ULP Bluetooth spec will be ready sometime in mid-2009, according to Executive Director Mike Foley."

Ultra-low power wireless PANs that monitor sports and fitness performance sprint into the fast lane | Wireless Net DesignLine

No comments:

Post a Comment