DecaWave Launches Location and Communication Chip

November 9, 2013. Fabless semiconductor company DecaWave has announced its first single-chip ScenSor wireless technology family, the DW1000. The IC electronically identifies the specific distance to any object, person, or thing with ±10-cm precision.

With multiple patents, DecaWave’s ScenSor works by transmitting wireless signals to readers that use them to locate the tagged object to within 10 cm. The chip is compliant with IEEE 802.15.4a standards (now IEEE 802.15.4-2011). It uses ultra-low power and can operate several years from a battery cell or within an energy-harvesting environment.

ScenSor can either replace or complement the radio frequency identification (RFID) and Wi-Fi technology currently used for indoor tracking (where GPS signals are unavailable) by allowing for more specific, minute-to-minute location information for high-value goods over short range and through obstructions. This brings new opportunities across multiple industries including future applications for the technology incorporated in smartphones and tablets.

Daniel Aljadef, vice president for emerging technologies and IP at Stanley Healthcare (AeroScout), said, “The ScenSor chip commences a new era in the world of UWB RTLS [real-time location systems] by providing excellent performance along with a flexible architecture and very rich functionality. I believe that the ScenSor chip will empower new solutions for many of the most demanding RTLS applications.”

Serge Hethuin, Head of secured wireless products (SWP) at THALES Communications & Security (TCS), said, “TCS has for many years been developing equipment and devices using UWB. TCS has compared the different waveforms that could be qualified has such. It became obvious that the solution proposed by DecaWave was the best suited one in order to satisfy the demanding applications under consideration. TCS has monitored DecaWave’s IC development progress over time, giving evaluation feedback and highlighting application requirements and needs. And today the performance of the DecaWave IC is exceptional and undisputable. TCS focus applications are related to indoor location in urgency situations dealing with different environment types and especially those in severe non line-of-sight conditions, for which multipath fading is a primary concern. The results achieved with the DecaWave IC are particularly good.”

Dr. Rae Pu, CEO, DR2 Technologies, said, “DecaWave’s industry leadership and RTLS expertise has enabled DR2 Technologies to provide indoor positioning systems with peerless flexibility and resolution. We are grateful for their dedicated engineering team and ongoing partnership.”

Finally, Ciaran Connell, CEO at DecaWave, said, “Until now, 10-cm location communications across close distances was not possible, and current systems with meter-level accuracy have limited reliability, signals would be lost, and there was a high risk for error. Customers ask for more than average accuracy most of the time. Our new ScenSor chip changes all that; it provides unprecedented accuracy all the time. More than 1,800 firms and institutes have expressed interest in implementing our technology for applications such as factory and building automation, agriculture, healthcare, ePOS and retail, and warehousing. We’ve created a foundation for all locator systems, and the systems can now be tailored to specific applications and environments.”

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