Archive for Welcome
Welcome to Low-Power Wireless, your resource for RF design. In these pages we’ll bring the latest news, views, products and prognostications for engineers involved in designing state of the art low-power RF devices. We’ll also be doing hands-on evaluations of RF development kits from leading vendors.
At the heart of our value proposition are detailed design articles addressing some of the knottier issues facing RF designers. We’ll attempt to cover every protocol known to man and then some, showing how to utilize them in practical designs. We’ll admit going in to an enduring interest in software-defined radio (SDR), which we’ll attempt to cover extensively. SDR is where hardware and software designers are working together to resolve the most challenging and interesting RF problems. SDR is the future of the wireless world, and it’s here now.
We’re just getting started, so please don’t be put off if this site is still pretty sparse. We’ll be adding more news, products and articles daily, so check back regularly. And let us know how to make this site more useful to you. Meanwhile check out the outstanding articles highlighted below that we’re proud to feature in Low-Power Wireless.
“Live long and prosper.”
John Donovan, Editor/Publisher
Challenges with Measuring Current when Developing of Power Management Schemes for Battery-Powered Devices (Part 1)
In order to understand if a design has achieved an improvement in runtime, an engineer needs to be able to measure current being consumed by the device and determine if his optimized design has indeed lowered overall current consumption. In this article, we will cover methods used to measure current flowing from the battery into the electronic device (or within sub-circuits of the device) and how modern power management schemes create challenges for measuring these currents. Read
Designing RF Mixed Technology Boards
For most of the century-plus that RF circuits have been designed and built, RF has been treated as a highly specialized task, and as such has been more-or-less been isolated, both in design and on the printed circuit board (PCB). With the advent of the handheld cell phone, there was no longer the luxury of having an isolated PCB just for the radio components. Read
Frequency Hopping Diversity Improves Low-Power Wireless System Performance
The motivation for the article is to present methods of enhancing a wireless link in a typical environment of simple low-power wireless transceivers. This article focuses on maximizing the reliability of a wireless link, while keeping the overall hardware costs down. Read
Joint Tactical Radio System: AMF, GMR, HMS
The JPEO JTRS team at SPAWAR San Diego and PEOC3T Fort Monmouth, NJ is leading the development and testing of the Airborne Maritime Fixed (AMF), Ground Mobile Radio (GMR) and Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Factor (HMS) radios. These radios will be capable of communicating in the Global Information Grid using 9 waveforms and 13 radio form factors, including 7 small form factors (SFF). Read
Key Priorities for Sub-GHz Wireless Deployment
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee technologies are heavily marketed 2.4 GHz protocols used extensively in today’s markets. However, for low-data-rate applications, such as home security/automation and smart metering, sub-GHz wireless systems offer several advantages, including longer range, reduced power consumption and lower deployment and operating costs. Read
Simplifying Android Migration
Android is not just an operating system (OS), but a complete handset platform, combining a mobile OS kernel, a Java run-time (Dalvik), a telephony interface, and other middleware, plus browser and application environment. Integration of such a comprehensive package in a handset design would appear to demand an all-or-nothing approach. As tempting as developers might find a blank slate, existing investments, innovations, and expertise built on current platforms cannot realistically be abandoned in favor of an all-encompassing new technology. Read
CMOS Power Amplifier Technology
Traditionally, the power amplifier (PA) has been the last bastion of non-CMOS technology. Typically, this block is manufactured using a specialty GaAs or LDMOS process coupled with a hybrid module packaging technology, in total an expensive manufacturing flow, which has made it a substantial part of the cell phone bill of materials. The specialty semiconductor process is required to provide a high gain, high frequency transistor element with a high breakdown voltage. The hybrid packaging technology provides high Q passive components to generate the 50 Ohm matching circuit. Read
Putting Intelligence in ‘Bricks’The size and weight of early public safety portable radios led them to often be referred to as “bricks”; while that reference had more to do with the physical characteristics of a radio, it also implied that the radios were not all that sophisticated. Today’s public safety radios, however, incorporate a significant amount of software that processes RF signals. In fact, most high-end portables fit typical engineering definitions of software defined radios. Read