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Wireless Networks

MIT Locates People Through Wifi and Chronos

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MIT Locates People Through Wifi and Chronos

A team of researchers at CSAIL (the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligent Laboratory) develops Chronos-- a means to accurately locate users within "tens of centimetres" through the power of wifi signals.

While similar systems already exist, these need multiple access points for wifi triangulation, and in any case tend to not play nice with big objects in the environment. On the other hand Chronos needs only one AP and uses an algorithm to eliminate errors caused by obstacles.

Chronos locates users by calculating "time-of-flight"-- the time data requires to travel from a user to an access point. According to MIT the system is x20 more accurate than existing systems, with calculations (done by multiplying time-of-flight by the speed of light) having an average time-of-flight error of 0.47 nanoseconds.

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ABI: IoT Drives Wireless Devices

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ABI: IoT Drives Wireless Devices

According to ABI Research the global wireless connectivity market (excluding cellular) is to reach over 10 billion annual IC shipments by 2021, with various IoT verticals such as smart home devices creating new opportunities.

While smartphone continue to represent the biggest market, technologies such as Bluetooth mesh networking, emerging wifi protocols, 802.15.4 enhancements (such as ZigBee 3.0 and Thread) and the growing need for multiprotocol connectivity system on chips (SoCs) are main market drivers. For instance, the analyst predicts Bluetooth will be in 60% of total devices by 2021, with mobile phones making less than 45% of total Bluetooth shipments.

Bluetooth Smart is forecast to be in 16% of devices by 2021 thanks to strong growth in smart home and beacon application as well as "significant" presence in connected home and wearable devices.

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A Passive Means to Reduce Wifi Energy Use

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A Passive Means to Reduce Wifi Energy Use

University of Washington researchers reveal a means to reduce the power consumption involved with wifi networks-- "Passive Wifi" using virtually no energy even when providing data transfer speeds of up to 11Mbps.

For the curious Passive Wifi energy consumption reaches up to 49.28 µW when pushing 11Mbps transmissions. Energy use is even lower during 1Mbps transmissions, being around 14.48µW. According to the researchers such a rate is 1000x lower than Bluetooth LE and ZigBee, or 10000x lower than existing wifi chipsets.

To achieve such power reductions Passive Wifi involves a redesign of the power-hungry radios making a router, creating a single device users plug into walls. The plug-in device generates a continuous wifi signal which in turn is reflected by passive devices, creating a chain of low-power transmitters.

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Intel, Qualcomm Team Up in WiGig

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Intel, Qualcomm Team Up in WiGig

Intel and Qualcomm manage to demonstrate multi-gigabit interoperability between respective WiGig (aka 802.11ad wifi) products--  a "crucial milestone" in making WiGig a mainstream technology.

According to the two companies WiGig devices can connect "seamlessly" at speeds reaching up to 4.6Gbps. The milestone involves the testing of connections between Intel/Qualcomm WiGig-based clients and Qualcomm WiGig wireless routers  in cases and conditions ranging from device discovery and connection to full-blown uploads, downloads and streaming. All tests show "multi-gigabit real data throughput" between devices, showing the technology's potential to address growing data demand in homes, enterprises and carrier networks.

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The Wifi HaLow for the Internet of Things

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The Wifi HaLow for the Internet of Things

At CES 2016 the Wifi Alliance unveils a next generation wifi standard-- HaLow (aka 802.11ah), a standard operating on the 900Mhz designed for the low power needs of sensors and wearables.

HaLow is best described as broad yet shallow, since it offers double the range of the current 2.4GHz standard with better wall penetration and lower power consumption while providing less bandwidth. As such it is ideal for the small data payloads and low-power devices making the Internet of Things (IoT).

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