Posts Tagged ‘imec’

News: Imec Achieves cm Accuracy & Low-power Ultra Wideband Localisation

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Imec has combined advanced machine learning algorithms and innovations in chip design to extend its secure proximity portfolio with next-generation high-precision and low-power ultra wideband technology.

“UWB’s power consumption, chip size and associated cost have been prohibitive factors to the technology’s adoption, especially when it comes to the deployment of wireless ranging applications. For one, imec’s brand-new UWB chip developments result in a significant reduction of the technology’s footprint based on digital-style RF-concepts: we have been able to integrate an entire transceiver – including three receivers for angle-of-arrival measurements – on an area of less than 1 square mm. Importantly, our design also targets a very low power consumption: less than 4mW/20mW (Tx/Rx) – which is up to 10 times better than today’s implementations. And it builds on imec’s long standing expertise in secure distance bounding to increase the technology’s resilience to potential relay attacks,” explained Christian Bachmann, program manager for Secure Proximity and Sensitive Networks programs at imec.

“UWB’s power consumption, chip size and associated cost have been prohibitive factors to the technology’s adoption, especially when it comes to the deployment of wireless ranging applications. For one, imec’s brand-new UWB chip developments result in a significant reduction of the technology’s footprint based on digital-style RF-concepts: we have been able to integrate an entire transceiver – including three receivers for angle-of-arrival measurements – on an area of less than 1 square mm. Importantly, our design also targets a very low power consumption: less than 4mW/20mW (Tx/Rx) – which is up to 10 times better than today’s implementations. And it builds on imec’s long standing expertise in secure distance bounding to increase the technology’s resilience to potential relay attacks,” explained Christian Bachmann, program manager for Secure Proximity and Sensitive Networks programs at imec.

Ultra wideband technology is perfectly suited to support a variety of high accuracy and secure wireless ranging use-cases.

“Using machine learning, we created smart anchor selection algorithms that detect the (non) line-of-sight between UWB anchors and the mobile devices that are being tracked. Building on that knowledge, the ranging quality is estimated, and ranging errors are corrected. Since our approach also comes with machine learning enabled features that enable adaptive tuning of the network’s physical layer parameters, the right steps can then be initiated to mitigate those ranging errors – for instance by tuning the anchors’ radios,” explained Professor Eli De Poorter from IDLab.

Think of the ‘smart lock’ solutions commonly used in automotive – automatically unlocking a car’s doors as its owner approaches, while locking the car when the owner moves away.

While UWB is inherently more difficult to compromise than some alternatives, its potential has largely remained untapped because of its higher power consumption and larger footprint.

The innovations imec introduces today mark an important step to unlocking the technology’s full potential.

More details below from the press release.

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Tech Focus: Ingestible Electronic Pills For Stomach Diagnosis

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

Just as IoT is taking the tech world by storm, ingestible pills enable doctors and researchers to emplace micro sensors in our bodies to monitor sustained measurements for diagnosis or research.

In this guest blog, Nick Van Helleputte and Chris Van Hoof discuss how ingestible or electronic pills can revolutionise the way stomach ailments are diagnosed.

Mock-up of an ingestible pill with prototype transceiver. Image: Imec.

Mock-up of an ingestible pill with prototype transceiver. Image: Imec.

Speak about an electronic pill or a small ingestible machine that can be swallowed by patients to monitor their bodies – and what comes to mind is often swarms of nanobots.

The reality is a little different.

Today, breakthroughs in electronics are making it possible to imagine such ingestibles, which are small enough to be swallowed so they can stay inside a body to monitor, say, a person’s stomach condition over a period of time.

Editor’s Comments

These nifty gadgets open up a whole new frontier in medical diagnosis and research.

Think the Internet of Things (IoT) but applied to the interior of our bodies.

By emplacing sensors within our bodies, doctors and researchers don’t just get a one-off snapshot of the organ of interest.

The sensors can provide sustained monitoring of measurements over a period of time, enabling the identification of trends in the data, or triggering of alerts to flag out anomalies breaching threshold levels.

This means a doctor would be able to more accurately see the changes in a person’s digestive tract, for example, instead of having only a quick look by using a scope or collecting stool samples.

So, instead of a number of nanobots swimming inside a person, ingestibles are miniaturised versions of electronic devices that require low power and have reliable wireless communication to relay the signals that they are reading.

In February 2020, Belgium-based research outfit imec presented the world’s first fully integrated millimetre-scale wireless transceiver for ingestibles or electronic analytical devices that can be swallowed.

This breakthrough, presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2020 conference at San Francisco in February, means that in the future, ingestible devices could be easier to be manufactured and be more effective in staying in a stomach to monitor important signs of diseases, such as diabetes, Crohn’s Disease or coeliac.

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IMEC Collaborates With NUS On Quantum Communication Networks

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Today, imec and the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced the signing of a research collaboration agreement to develop chip-based prototypes for secure quantum communication networks.

Securing ourselves through quantum cryptography in a post-quantum world. Dr Charles Lim (left) of NUS and Joris Van Campenhout of imec.

Securing ourselves through quantum cryptography in a post-quantum world. Dr Charles Lim (left) of NUS and Joris Van Campenhout of imec.

In the frame of this five-year agreement, imec and NUS will jointly develop scalable, robust and efficient technologies for quantum key distribution and quantum random number generation, which are amongst the basic building blocks of a truly secure Quantum Internet.

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