NXP Semiconductors has introduced two new ultra-wideband (UWB) technology ICs which are aimed at delivering relative position with a very high level of accuracy for internet of things (IoT) sensors, tags and smart locks.
Under a portfolio of UWB ICs rebranded under the name Trimension, the two new devices, the SR040 and SR150, are dedicated to enabling secure UWB solutions for IoT devices, and complement the existing automotive smart car access and mobile secure ranging UWB solutions.
The devices are part of NXP’s vision of using UWB technology to enable environments where doors lock and unlock in response to the owner’s actual presence, where cars are shared with a simple touch of a screen or accessed handsfree, where smart home automation systems follow their owners intuitively and efficiently from one room to another, and people spend less time searching because misplaced items can be easily and quicky tracked.
Commenting on the new devices, the senior vice president and CTO of HID Global, Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, said, “With higher levels of accuracy in positioning capabilities along with increased data security compared to other RF technologies, UWB will significantly improve the handsfree access control user experience in places such as offices, hospitals, educational institutions, and homes. Based on its fine-ranging capability, we also believe UWB will enable many new location-based services and device-to-device IoT applications both in consumer products and industrial applications.”
The Trimension SR150 adds angle-of-arrival (AoA) technology for an added level of precision for IoT devices that could benefit from UWB enablement in larger infrastructures, such as access control installations, indoor localization setups, and payment schemes, as well as consumer electronics. Several SR150 IC devices can be placed in a room as UWB anchors to help localize people and objects as they move. The device is connected to the company’s EdgeLock secure element for secure ranging, and also features RTOS and Linux software for IoT integration.
Optimized for low-power operation, the Trimension SR040 is designed for use in battery-operated IoT devices, including UWB trackers and tags, and can be integrated with Bluetooth Low Energy or other connectivity controllers in one device. Being used as a time difference of arrival (TDoA) RTLS tag, they can send blink packets only. The device features on- chip flash firmware for download-free booting and features an integrated Tx/Rx switch.
Both Arm Cortex based devices are IEEE 802.15.4z compatible, with a pre-developed FiRa MAC from NXP in both devices ensures interoperability and fast time-to-market. In addition, the Trimension OL23D0 complements the range of dedicated IoT solutions as an open, fully customer programmable UWB controller for IoT applications.
SR150 and SR040 ICs are available in modules and development kits supplied by selected NXP partners such as Amotech, Mobile Knowledge and Sunway Communication. Mobile Knowldge, a Barcelona, Spain, based embedded systems engineering consultancy released a UWB kit in parallel with the launch of the new Trimension ICs, offering a set of hardware, software tools and documentation to enable prototyping of ideas of UWB-based solutions.
HID Global’s Ramesh Songukrishnasamy believes UWB technology is one of the most exciting wireless technologies in the connectivity landscape, as he highlighted during a recent panel discussion at the NXP Connects conference. He said its characteristics will enable seamless user experience in a variety of use cases. In particular, its fine ranging capability will enable many new location-based services and device-to-device IoT applications both in consumer products and industrial setup. He said, “We are quite excited about the potential of UWB technology in managing access to physical and digital places, things, and identities.”
To watch the full panel discussion among Google, HID Global, Samsung and NXP, click here to access the panel recording entitled, “Cut the complexity of wireless connectivity”.