BlinkSight and imec claim first single-chip indoor GPS solution
Based on ultra-low power impulse radio technology by imec and Holst Centre, the chip delivers real-time information to track and trace people and objects in indoor environments. Its unique combination of high accuracy, long range and low power consumption is ideal for both business and consumer applications.
BlinkSight’s innovative system solution uses the ultra-low power ‘impulse-radio’ (IR) developed by imec and Holst Centre which enables real-time 3D location information that is accurate to within 10 cm. The device combines digital processing elements and sophisticated analog radio functionality in a single chip, enabling superior performance at a low cost of ownership. It can operate in both the 3.1-4.8 GHz and 6-10 GHz bands for use around the world and seamless co-existence with other wireless technologies.
Moreover, with an operating voltage range of 1.5 to 3.6 V, the device is ideal for battery-powered applications. Together with its small form factor and low power consumption, this makes it suitable for integration into tags, wireless sensors, base stations and mobile devices. A base station equipped with BlinkSight’s technology could track and trace thousands of fast moving tags in real time. In addition the tags are interactive and capable of sending dynamic data (e.g. temperature).
“Our solution is easy to install and thanks to the collaboration with imec we’ve been able to bring a working solution to market very fast,” said BlinkSight CEO and founder Stéphane Mutz. “A lot of effort went into minimizing power consumption, and we expect to have tags powered by energy harvesting available soon. We aim to bring a complete turnkey system to market and want to work with industry leaders to bring accurate indoor GPS capabilities to connected devices.”
This single chip impulse radio transceiver optimized for indoor GPS applications features a standard 90 nm RF-CMOS technology, embedded software programmable ultra low power 128 bit vector DSP (<16 pJ / cycle), a range of > 60 m LOS (Line of Sight) or > 20 m N-LOS (No Line of Sight), 3D positioning accuracy better than 10 cm, and 5+ years operation from a standard coin battery.