Imec, Holst Centre and Renesas have outlined at this week's ISSCC an ultra low power 2.4GHz short range radio compliant with Bluetooth Low Energy and IEEE802.15.4 (ZigBee). Implemented in 40nm CMOS, the radio is said to reduce power consumption by 25% compared to the previous 90nm RF front-end design.
Harmke De Groot, department director at imec, said: “The radio consumes the majority of the power of the total system and is one of the most critical components to enable these emerging applications. A low cost, area efficient radio design is an important catalyst for developing small sensor applications."
The radio achieves features a digital intensive RF architecture integrated with the digital baseband and an MCU. Several low voltage techniques are adopted to ensure sub 1V operation, as well as enabling a receive power consumption of 3.7mW and a transmit power consumption of 4.4mW.
Receiver sensitivity is said to be -93.5dBm, with a dynamic range from the sensitivity level up to -5dBm.