IR-UWB installed on single chip for indoor positioning

Impulse radio ultra wide-band (IR-UWB) is gaining traction for use in indoor positing and tracking. Two French entities--BeSpoon, a fabless semiconductor company, and French research-and-technology organization CEA-Leti--said they have demonstrated an IR-UWB integrated circuit able to measure distances within a few centimeters' accuracy.

The two claim to have established a world-record operating range at 880 meters under standard regulation and 3,641 meters in emergency situations. In addition, they have installed the technology on a single standalone chip (RF front-end and digital base band), which is designed for integration within smartphones or set-top boxes.

"Indoor location is only beginning and, very soon, robustness and precision will be key to offering great new services," said Jean-Marie Andre, BeSpoon CEO. "Mobile geofencing is another exciting development of our technology."

Wireless indoor positioning is envisioned for use in location-aware applications such as indoor mapping in locations such as malls and museums, emergency management, asset and people tracking, inventory management, home automation, health monitoring and sensor networks. Location-aware advertising is also another envisioned application.

In addition to IR-UWB, various other technologies proposed for enabling indoor positioning include Bluetooth, Zigbee, Wi-Fi and even, in the case of Finnish startup IndoorAtlas, detection of magnetic anomalies.

In related news, Ekahau, which develops real-time location systems using Wi-Fi, announced that its Ekahau Vision software passed Cisco's AssureWave testing, ensuring its application will perform on Cisco wireless LANs. Cisco AssureWave testing measures application performance and quality of service for wireless implementations in healthcare, retail, higher education and enterprise markets.

Ekahau said its location technology enables Cisco's enterprise customers to derive business intelligence from knowing the location as well as the condition and status of assets, people and workflows.

For more:
- see this BeSpoon and CEA-Leti joint release
- see this Ekahau release

Related articles:
IndoorAtlas magnetically attracts $640,000 seed round
Apple pays $20M for indoor-location firm WifiSLAM
Apple acquires indoor mapping startup WifiSLAM
Google Maps for iOS eclipses 10 million downloads in first two days
Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung spearhead indoor navigation alliance
Nokia adds location-based Groupon deals to Lumia smartphones
Google Maps for Android adds museum guide features

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