Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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CEVA Powering UWB

Parent Category: 2021 HFE

By Tom Perkins

In late June CEVA, Inc., a leading licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, announced expansion of its portfolio with a new ultra-wideband platform IP, named RivieraWaves™ UWB for mobile, automotive, consumer and IoT applications. Headquartered in Rockville, MD, CEVA is a NASDAQ listed company with revenues of $100M and about 400 employees powering approximately 1 billion devices annually. They have design centers worldwide with technologies such as motion sensing, IoT, cell modems, WLAN cellular short range, AI at the edge, Vision DSP, sensor fusion, and more.

2021 08 CompanyOverviewImpulse Radio (IR) technology was introduced 15 years ago as part of 802.15.4a. It was not very successful. There has been a recent resurgence due to two characteristics of UWB. These are position accuracy of better than 10 centimeters and strong security at the PHY level and immunity to “man-in-the-middle” attacks. Using pulses of 2 nanoseconds width and 500 MHz bandwidth per channel, two-way ranging using precise Time of Flight (ToF) for range estimation can be achieved. Angle of Arrival (AoA) using multiple antennas is possible. It operates in the 3.1 to 10.6 GHz range, with 6 to 8.5 GHz being typical. Low latency data transfer is from 110 to 27,000 Kbps. This operation is covered by High Rate Pulse (HRP) (802.15.4a), Low Rate Pulse (LRP) (802.15.4f) and a new version 802.15.4z wit improved security and ranging protocol. The technique touts extremely low spectral density (sub -41.3 dBm/MHz), under FCC noise mask.

Applications for this technology include tags for pinpoint asset finding, secure digital key functionality for door locks, real-time location services (RTLS), restricted access control, indoor navigation, and payment systems. The FIRa™ Consortium made up of about 10 leaders in the wireless and semiconductor field includes CEVA and was established in 2019. It is intended to develop compelling UWB use cases, enable interoperability and create new and enhanced user experiences.

More information can be found at https://www.ceva-dsp.com/

Editor’s Note: The attributes of this technology reminded me of some work I did with high resolution UWB radar about 25 years ago.

September 2021

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