RFIC Development

RFicient® - Ultra-Low Power Technology for the Internet of Things

RFicient® is the solution for wireless applications that are designed to provide an operating life of several years with a minimal amount of maintenance. The ultra-low power (ULP) receiver technology RFicient® enables 24/7 monitoring of wireless sensor networks in multiple frequency bands. The current consumption below 3 µA and the operation without a microcontroller make a service life of your mobile applications of up to ten years possible. The particularly fast response capability in the order of milliseconds also enables real-time applications. Consequently, this novel and efficient RF solution is predestined for the Internet of Things.

The Innovation

Our integrated ULP receiver was developed for the ISM frequency bands and built in standard CMOS technology. The current prototypes, which are based on 130-nm CMOS technology, operate in the 868 MHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands and achieve a receiver sensitivity of -80 dBm. When operating in the standard configuration at a data rate of 1 kbit/s, the current consumption is reduced below 3 µA with a response time of only 30 ms. Apart from the pure wake-up mode of operation, it is also possible to configure for a reception of coded data streams. Furthermore, a selective wake-up of specific wireless nodes can be performed, using a 16 bit wide address range.

Your Advantages

With RFicient®, wireless receiver systems achieve a significantly longer operating life. At the same time, RFicient® allows a high degree of scalability of the devices power consumption with its data rate. This ensures several years of battery operation, or fully autonomous operation via energy harvesting. Furthermore, basic functions, frequency bands and additional functionality can be modified to fit the customers’ needs. We provide the ULP receiver technology as IP blocks, which can be transferred to various CMOS technologies.

Field of Applications

IoT applications require low energy consumption and rapid response capability at minimum cost. The RFicient® technology embraces these challenges as opportunities and offers the adequate solution for numerous wireless applications. Accordingly, the ULP wireless receiver offers utility across a vast array of applications including building automation, intelligent lighting, electronic labels, remote maintenance, remote control and wireless sensor networks.

Technical details of our standard configuration RFicient®Basic:

  • Continuous monitoring of the wireless channel:
    Multiband Sub 1 GHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz, 2.4 GHz
  • Supply current: < 3 µA at 1.8 V (1kbit/s)
  • Sensitivity: -80 dBm
  • Operation without microcontroller
  • Detection of two independent wake-up events
  • FEC coded data reception
  • Selective wake-up with 16 Bit ID
  • Silicon proven prototypes

In addition to RFicient®Basic, we also develop ultra-low power solutions for a power-saving localization of mobile radio nodes (RFicient®Locate), for a decentralized acquisition of radio signal spectra (RFicient®Scan) as well as for the efficient detection of radio signals of certain wireless standards (RFicient®Spot).

RFicient®Locate

  • Tri-band ULP receiver:
    433 MHz, 868 MHz, 2.4 GHz
  • Supply current: < 3 µA
  • RSSI based indoor localization for
    - Logistics
    - Industry 4.0

RFicient®Scan

  • Continuous wideband RF monitoring:
    380 MHz – 950 MHz
  • Supply current: 20 µA @ 61 points
  • Fast sweep < 1.8 ms, 61 points
  • Integrated ULP statistics:
    - Short term ~1 minute
    - Long term ~12 hours

RFicient®Spot

  • Continuous 2.4-GHz ISM band
    RF monitoring:
    2400 MHz – 2500 MHz
  • Supply current: typ. 20 µA @ 1.8 V
  • Wireless standards recognition:
    - Bluetooth®
    - Wi-Fi®
    - ZigBee®
    - WirelessHART®
  • Standard recognition time: < 1 s

Download

 

Flyer

RFicient® - Ultra-Low Power Receiver Technology for the Internet of Things

 

Fact Sheet

RFicient® as IP

 

White Paper

RFicient® Ultra-Low Power Receiver Unleashing the full potential of IoT