DecaWave launches industry’s most precise indoor location, communication CMOS chip

Fabless semiconductor company DecaWave announced today its first single chip of the ScenSor wireless technology family, DW1000, which makes indoor location and communications more accurate, cost-effective and power-efficient than ever before. This is the first integrated circuit on the market to electronically identify the specific distance to any object, person or thing with +/-10cm precision.

With multiple patents, DecaWave’s ScenSor works by transmitting wireless signals to readers that use them to locate the tagged object to within 10cm. The chip is the smallest device of its class, is compliant with IEEE 802.15.4a standards (now IEEE802.15.4-2011), and uses ultra-low power - it can operate several years from a battery cell or within an energy harvesting environment.  These features make the chip functionally and economically viable to deploy, both in volume and in remote locations.

“Until now, 10cm 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,” said Ciaran Connell, CEO at DecaWave. “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.”

ScenSor can either replace or complement the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and WiFi 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 providing more accuracy than ever before. This brings new opportunities across multiple industries including future applications for the technology incorporated in smartphones and tablets.

“TCS has for many years been developing equipment and devices using UWB,” said Serge Hethuin, head of secured wireless products at THALES Communications & Security. “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.”

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