In the Internet of Things (IoT), numerous tiny sensor nodes are embedded in our environment. Reducing the power consumption and enabling operation at low supply voltage of IoT radio transceivers is key to enable reliable multi-year battery life of the billions of IoT devices in our environment. Furthermore, new applications are empowered by reducing power consumption and supply voltage, such as leave-behind sensors or wearables.
Imec, together with Renesas, developed a fully-integrated, highly energy efficient BT5 transceiver, which showcases the best RX figure-of-merit (FoM) and the lowest supply voltage among the state-of-the-art (0.8V). A low supply voltage of 0.8V is beneficial because it extends battery life by up to 50%, reduces the complexity of the power management unit, and allows the use of a wider range of energy sources such as energy harvesters.
“This world-class BT5/BLE transceiver for IoT applications is the result of a successful collaboration with Renesas,” commented Kathleen Philips, program director at imec/Holst Centre for IoT. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve battery lifetime of IoT sensors and radios and a low supply voltage is yet another key element in the roadmap towards successful IoT radio solutions.”