IoT and Low-Power Wireless Circuits, Architectures, and Techniques

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IoT and Low-Power Wireless Circuits, Architectures, and Techniques

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Preface to IoT and Low-Power Wireless Circuits, Architectures, and Techniques eBook

Sometime in the future, we may look back and reflect that we are living in times during which a unique confluence of technologies is creating a new paradigm for networked devices, commonly referred to as the internet of things (IoT).

The idea behind IoT dates back to the 1990s, when Kevin Ashton was a brand manager at Proctor & Gamble (P&G).

In 1997, Ashton and his team were tasked with promoting Oil of Olay lipsticks.

When Ashton noticed that some retail stores were not stocked with the product, he realized that human data entry for restocking the lipstick is unreliable.

He thus came up with the idea of taking the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip out of a contactless smart card and attaching one to each lipstick to track store inventory.

Ashton then extended this idea, and pitched a solution to solve P&G’s supply chain problem to the executives. Although the price of RFID tags was still prohibitive at that time,

Ashton was convinced that one day the price will drop enough for this idea to be economically feasible.

P&G executives funded the research project, and Ashton eventually became the executive director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Auto-ID Center,

where he was able to further his vision. Today, roughly 20 years after Ashton’s idea, we are able to see his IoT concept coming to fruition.

The convergence and advancement of several technologies have made this possible, including

• Sensor and actuator technology
• Wireless technology
• Computational power and network protocol
• Miniaturization of devices, with integrated circuit technology riding

Moore’s law to the limit

The chapters in this book cover some of the wireless research that will enable the implementation of IoT.

The book also looks ahead at advanced wireless techniques that will continue the evolution in ubiquitous wireless communication.

Chapter 1: This chapter provides an overview of IoT, focusing on the technologies deployed for the physical and link layers. Emerging standards for IoT are also outlined.

Chapter 2: Low-power wearables have entered into the mainstream consumer market, with fitness devices that monitor exercise and heart rate being the most prevalent.

This chapter explores the usage of wearables in the medical
market, and the challenges that come with designing sensors and electronics for such devices.

Chapter 3: The challenge of wearable medical monitoring is further
explored in the context of algorithms and firmware.

Algorithms that can reliably interpret the physiological and biomechanical signals, derive metrics from them, and predict clinically significant events are one of the keys to success in this market.

Chapter 4: Connecting numerous devices into a wireless sensor network is the focus of this chapter.

Distributed versus centralized architectures are discussed, including techniques that can improve the efficiency and robustness of the network.

Chapter 5: A key technique for IoT devices to run years on a single battery is to put the receiver to sleep for as long and as often as possible.

This chapter addresses this important issue with the wake-up receiver method to achieve energy-efficient communication.

Chapter 6: As Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process scaling continues and the supply voltage continues to shrink, voltage resolution and dynamic range in analog circuits also deteriorate.

Over the past decade, engineers have adjusted their design strategy by taking advantage of the time resolution of CMOS, resulting in the time-to-digital converter (TDC).

Various innovations have been developed for TDCs, and this chapter
presents an all-digital TDC architecture with delta-sigma noise shaping.

Chapter 7: The power amplifier is one of the power hungry blocks within a Radio Frequency (RF) transmitter. The aim of achieving high efficiency and high linearity is a continual design challenge.

In this chapter, a systematic design technique is presented, along with the analysis of a current mode digital RF power amplifier incorporating predistortion.

Chapter 8: Frequency synthesis using a phase locked loop (PLL) is another power hungry function within an RF transceiver. Within the PLL, the voltage controlled oscillator and frequency divider consumes much of the power.

As a result, injection locking has been studied to reduce power consumption, and this chapter provides an analysis of various injection-locked techniques.

Chapter 9: The Cartesian In-Phase and Quadrature (I/Q) modulator
driven by a PLL has been a conventional architecture used in RF transmitters, but the need for RF mixers and filters has presented challenges in deep-submicron CMOS.

Over the past decade, efficient digital transmitter architectures that avoid the use of mixers and filters have gained traction.

In this chapter, the use of powerful digital calibration techniques in a direct modulation PLL has enabled further performance gains.

Chapter 10: As the spectra at 2.4 and 5 GHz have become very crowded, engineers are looking at higher frequencies for future deployment.

WiGig is one example of moving WiFi to the 60 GHz band for enabling multi-Gbps wireless communication.

Techniques for frequency synthesis at 60 GHz are discussed in this chapter.

An injection-locked 60 GHz oscillator is used in conjunction
with a subsampling PLL to achieve low-power and low-phase noise.

An implementation of these techniques in 65-nm CMOS is presented along with the measured results.
Chapter 11: Fifth generation wireless is presently under definition and
development, and one consideration is the integration of IoT into the network. Heterogeneous architectures have been proposed, where Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) is used in dense small cells.

The latest status of IEEE 802.11ad/WiGig in the 60 GHz band is presented in this chapter, including a low-power CMOS transceiver with beamforming capability.
Chapter 12: Battery life has always been a key issue in portable devices,
and it has become crucial for IoT as it is impractical to replace the battery in billions of devices regularly.

While the earlier chapters focused on circuit techniques and protocol innovations to extend the battery life, this chapter looks at ways that we can recharge the battery without user intervention.

While energy scavenging has been considered for IoT nodes, wireless charging has also made its way into the consumer market.

This chapter presents an efficient power management structure for inductive power delivery and its applications in markets such as implantable medical devices.

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