DecaWave chip makes indoor location and comms accurate to 10cm

7 Nov 2013

Ciaran Connell, CEO; Jim O'Hara, chairman; and Michael McLaughlin, president and CTO, DecaWave

Dublin-headquartered DecaWave has launched the first chip of its ScenSor DW1000 wireless family to make indoor location and communication more accurate and power efficient.

The company said it was the first integrated circuit on the market to electronically identify the specific distance to any object, person or thing with plus or minus 10cm precision.

DecaWave’s ScenSor works by transmitting wireless signals to readers that use them to locate the tagged object to within 10cm. The chip is the smallest device of its class, is compliant with IEEE 802.15.4a standards (now IEEE802.15.4-2011), and uses ultra-low power – it can operate several years from a battery cell or within an energy-harvesting environment. 

These features make the chip functionally and economically viable to deploy, both in volume and in remote locations.

Future smartphone and tablet applications for Irish chip

The chip can complement or replace RFID and Wi-Fi technology that is currently used for indoor tracking – where GPS signals are unavailable.

This occurs by short range and through obstructions, providing more accuracy. This brings new opportunities across multiple industries, including future applications for the technology incorporated in smartphones and tablets.

“Until now, 10cm location communications across close distances was not possible and current systems with meter-level accuracy have limited reliability, signals would be lost and there was a high risk for error,” explained Ciaran Connell, chief executive at DecaWave.

“Customers ask for more than average accuracy most of the time. Our new ScenSor chip changes all that, it provides unprecedented accuracy all the time.”

More than 1,800 firms and institutes have expressed interest in implementing our technology for applications such as factory and building automation, agriculture, healthcare, ePOS and retail, and warehousing. We’ve created a foundation for all locator systems, and the systems can now be tailored to specific applications and environments,” Connell said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years