Imec news

Bluetooth® Smart radio with record battery lifetime




03/12/2013

Radio paves the way to new personal health, lifestyle and smart homes applications

Leuven (Belgium) and San Diego (California, USA) – December 3, 2013 – Imec, Holst Centre and Wicentric introduce today their integrated ultra-low power Bluetooth® Smart radio solution for a range of smart applications. With a power consumption up to five times lower than state-of-the-art radios and an extremely small memory footprint, this radio solution, integrating imec and Holst Centre’s 2.4GHz ultra-low power radio and Wicentric’s exactLE product line of Bluetooth® Smart software, leads the way to new Internet of Things applications such as personal health monitoring systems and smart home applications.

Autonomous wireless sensor systems running on batteries or energy harvested in the environment can be used for personal health monitoring, smart homes, intelligent cars, and for monitoring machines, buildings or the environment. However, practical applications for wireless sensor networks largely depend on their size, autonomy, and power consumption.

Imec and Holst Centre’s Bluetooth® Smart compliant 2.4GHz short-range radio is 3-5 times more power efficient compared to today’s available Bluetooth® Smart radios that consume between 50 and 85 percent of the overall power consumption of a sensor system. The 1.9nJ/b radio achieves a DC power of only 3.8mW at 1.2V supply for the receiver and 4.6mW for the transmitter. The measured receiver (RX) noise figure is 6dB, resulting in an excellent sensitivity of -98dBm for Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE).

Wicentric's software solution includes exactLE Link, a portable and efficient Link Layer for Bluetooth® Smart, and Wicentric's qualified exactLE Stack and Profiles. Wicentric’s exactLE Link is designed for efficient execution on low power CPU cores running at low clock speeds making it well suited for ultra-low power system-on-chip silicon designs. The exactLE Stack and Profiles support 18 standard Bluetooth® Smart profiles and services for products like physical activity monitors, healthcare devices, and smart watches. The complete software solution has an extremely small memory footprint, for example the combined code size of the link layer, protocol stack, and profile for a heart rate sensor can be as low as 45 kilobytes on an ARM Cortex-M0 CPU, running at 12 to 16 MHz.

Combining imec and Holst Centre’s ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart compliant radio with Wicentric's efficient and comprehensive Bluetooth Smart software delivers a complete and highly integrated solution that is available for licensing as of today.

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About imec
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of more than 2,000 people includes more than 650 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2012, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 320 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.)and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).

About Holst Centre
Holst Centre is an independent open-innovation R&D center that develops generic technologies for Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions and for Systems-in-Foil. A key feature of Holst Centre is its partnership model with industry and academia around shared roadmaps and programs. It is this kind of cross-fertilization that enables Holst Centre to tune its scientific strategy to industrial needs.
Holst Centre was set up in 2005 by imec (Flanders, Belgium) and TNO (The Netherlands) with support from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Government of Flanders. It is named after Gilles Holst, a Dutch pioneer in Research and Development and first director of Philips Research.
Located on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Holst Centre benefits from the state-of-the-art on-site facilities. Holst Centre has over 150 employees from around 25 nationalities and a commitment from more than 30 industrial partners. Visit us at www.holstcentre.com.

About Wicentric
Wicentric is a leader in Bluetooth low energy software solutions. In 2010, Wicentric became the world’s first independent protocol stack provider to receive Bluetooth 4.0 qualification. Wicentric’s exactLE product line provides Bluetooth Smart semiconductor makers with a comprehensive baseband-to-application software solution that is robust, efficient, and easy to use. Wicentric is located in San Diego, California. For more information, visit www.wicentric.com.

Contact:
Hanne Degans, External Communications Officer, T: +32 16 28 17 69, Mobile: +32 486 06 51 75, hanne.degans@imec.be



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CONTACT



Hanne Degans

External communications officer

Hanne.degans@imec.be
T: +32 16 28 17 69
Mobile : +32 486 06 51 75

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R&D offering

Sensor systems for industrial applications
Ultra-low power radios

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