Fujitsu Laboratories and Holst Centre, a European R&D initiative by imec (Belgium) and TNO (the Netherlands), have commenced joint research related to the development of ultra-low-power wireless transceivers for wireless sensor networks. The research aims to reduce power consumption in wireless transceivers, a key device in wireless sensor networks that can be employed in medicine, healthcare, agricultural management, and a host of other fields. As a result, the research will help improve the battery runtimes of sensor devices.
Through this new research, Fujitsu Laboratories will work to enhance its network front-end technologies and contribute to the further development of Fujitsu’s business in areas such as cloud computing.
In recent years, attention has been focused on wireless sensor networks that can be autonomously and wirelessly formed from disparate sensors and used to collect a wide variety of information. These networks are being considered for use in fields such as medicine and healthcare, agricultural and farm management, monitoring of social infrastructure and buildings, factory monitoring, and environmental monitoring . In wireless sensor networks, wireless transceivers are required to transmit sensing data from each sensor device (node) to relay nodes. At the same time, to ensure a high degree of flexibility in positioning, sensor nodes are typically powered using batteries. In consideration of the maintenance requirements when operating a system, there is a demand for sensor nodes that can run over long periods of time, thereby minimizing the need to replace and charge batteries. This has led to an increasing need for technology that can reduce the power consumed by wireless transceivers.
The Holst Centre and its mother organisation imec possess some of the world’s leading technologies for wireless transceiver power reduction. Likewise, Fujitsu Laboratories has accumulated and commercialised power reduction technologies for systems other than wireless sensor networks, such as LSIs for UHF RFID tags. By collaborating on the research together, the organizations anticipate being able to quickly commercialize their cutting-edge research results.
Commenting Atsuki Inoue, Vice President of Platform Technology Labs, Fujitsu Laboratories said: “Ultra-low power wireless transceivers are vital building blocks for many emerging applications, helping extend functionality and battery lifetimes of sensor nodes. Holst Centre and imec have a strong track-record in both transceiver design and application development. Partnering with them will allow us to accelerate research into these devices with the aim of bringing new products to market faster.”