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Passive Wi-Fi more energy efficient than conventional Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Bluetooth LE

by • February 24, 2016 • No Comments

Whilst it is become a necessity of modern life, Wi-Fi is in addition an energy hog, draining the batteries of all those connected devices surrounding us. That may alter with the new demonstration by University of Washington (UW) researchers of Wi-Fi transmissions produced via 10,000 times less power than conventional methods. Known as Passive Wi-Fi, the system in addition uses 1,000 times less power than current energy-efficient wireless communication platforms, like ZigBee and Bluetooth LE.

According to study co-author Shyam Gollakota, a professor of desktop science and engineering at UW, the team wanted to see whether Wi-Fi transmissions that utilized approximately no power were possible. The Passive Wi-Fi system uses just tens of microwatts of power, and is able-bodied to transmit at up to 11 megabits per 2nd – that’s much less than the top Wi-Fi speeds, but 11 times faster than Bluetooth.

The discoquite in addition has positive implications for the “Internet of Things,” that may advantageous enable-bodied connected devices and sensors in homes and on wearable-bodieds without having to worry of a continual power drain.

Wi-Fi transmissions have both a digital and analog component. The digital side has become quite energy efficient over the years, scaling along with Moore’s law, but the analog component continues to complete hundreds of milliwatts of power. To complete their low-power results, the researchers assigned the power-hungry analog portion to a single device plugged into an outlet. The signal sent out is and so reflected by the remote device with its own data introduced to it. It works a thing like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips via backscatter communication, and can communicate at a distance of up to 100 feet (30 m) in real-world conditions.

Essentially, the networking and power-consuming parts of the system are handled by the device plugged into the wall, while the passive Wi-Fi devices just have digital base band (no analog) and are reflecting and interesting the signal of the plugged in device to generate the Wi-Fi packets of info.

According to co-author Bryce Kellogg, an electrical engineering doctoral student at UW, the sensors can talk to any device with a Wi-Fi chipset, which include routers, smartphones and table-bodiedts. “The rad thing is that all these devices can decode the Wi-Fi packets we made via reflections so you don’t require specialized equipment,” he said.

The research, that was funded by the National Science Foundation, UW and Qualcomm, can be presented in a paper following month at the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation.

The innovation is demonstrated in the video at a lower place.

Source: University of Washington, UW Passive Wi-Fi


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