Collin Arocho
25 May 2020

Imec has announced the next generation of its high-precision low-power ultrawideband (UWB) technology. After 15 years of innovation and development, the Leuven-based research institute is unveiling its updated UWB technology, which consumes 10 times less power than traditional implementations. Additionally, thanks to a software enhancement from IDLab (Imec’s research group at Ghent University), the technology is equipped with machine learning features that enable adaptive tuning of a network’s physical-layer parameters, giving it a ranging accuracy within 10 cm. With these advancements, Imec believes its technology can pave the way for microlocalization applications ranging from keyless access to AR/VR gaming, as well as asset tracking and robotics.

Imec UWB chip
Credit: Imec

“We’ve already demonstrated a UWB ranging accuracy of better than 10 cm in very challenging industrial environments, which is a factor 2 improvement compared to existing approaches. Additionally, while UWB localization use cases are typically custom built and often depend on manual configuration, our smart anchor selection software works in any scenario – as it runs in the application layer,” says professor Eli De Poorter of IDLab. “Through these adaptive configurations, the next-generation low-power and high-accuracy UWB chips can be utilized in a wide range of other use cases such as improved contact tracing during epidemics using small and privacy-aware devices.”