Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

A Low-Power, High-Gain Radio Frequency Amplifier Technique

Technology #7236

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Researchers
Li-Xuan Chuo
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734.764.8202
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Wireless sensor nodes enable embedded systems to communicate with each other with low infrastructure cost, which is a key aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT). The global market for IoT devices was $4.2 billion in 2014 [1], and it is expected to grow rapidly in the future. Decreasing the size of the sensor nodes allows the devices to be used unobtrusively in a wider range of applications, which increases the potential market. The applications can be broadened further by increasing the communication range of the node as well as enabling the wireless sensor node to communicate to obstructed locations. Millimeter scale wireless sensor nodes have been developed, but their communication capabilities are restrictive, and increasing their communication range generally requires increased power consumption. A wireless sensor node with increased communication range that maintains low power consumption has been developed.

Wireless Sensor Node with Increased Communication Range

A method of achieving improved communication in a millimeter-scale wireless sensor node has been developed. Improved communication is achieved by designing the device to achieve an increased Q factor. This leads to improved frequency selection and improved receiver sensitivity while achieving low power consumption. The novel design also allows bulky, high-power components to be eliminated from the device. A prototype has been developed and has achieved non-line-of-sight communication at ranges up to 20 meters. Simulations support the claim of an increased Q factor. The device has applications to the IoT as a wireless sensor node, and it will impact the home automation, security, environmental monitoring, industrial automation, and biomedical devices sectors.

Applications

  • Wireless Sensor Node Radio
  • Internet of Things
  • Biomedical Devices
  • Home Automation
  • Security
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Industrial Automation

Advantages

  • Elimination of bulky components
  • Improved frequency selection
  • Improved receiver sensitivity at low power consumption

[1] The Internet of Things. IFT118A. BCC Research. 2015.