At the 2018 ISSC, Imec and Renesas unveiled an ultra-low-power Bluetooth 5 transceiver with a low supply voltage of 0.8V which supposedly enables a 50% longer battery life in IoT applications. This will also require less maintenance for billions of IoT sensors that are located remotely.
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.
The companies claim that the fully-integrated BT5 transceiver comes with the best RX figure-of-merit (FoM) and the lowest supply voltage among the state-of-the-art (0.8V).
“In the Internet of Things (IoT), numerous tiny sensor nodes are embedded in our environment. Reducing the power consumption and enabling operation at a 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”, the company noted.
The transceiver consists of a novel phase-tracking RX, a digital TX based on an all-digital PLL (ADPLL) and a PHY-layer digital baseband. A hybrid loop filter enhances interference tolerance, in conjunction with precise frequency control enabled by the ADPLL. The receiver fronted achieves a sensitivity of -95dBm, while consuming only 2.3mW (non-duty-cycled) at 0.8V. The transceiver chip is implemented in 40nm CMOS, with a core area of only 0.8mm2, including on-chip matching.