Low-power WiFi for the Internet of Things. This is what researchers from the University of Washington have managed to develop by developing the « Passive WiFi », which is 10,000 times less energy-consuming, enough to spare our batteries.
The number of objects that want to be connected is very high today, and traditional WiFi remains excessively energy-intensive, being in particular with the screen, one of the elements of our smartphones that consume the most energy. But for the Internet of Things, a small revolution is promised by a team of engineers from the University of Washington, in the United States, with the development of this “passive WiFi”. This is intended to be 10,000 times less energy intensive than traditional WiFi and up to 1,000 times less than Bluetooth, Low Energy or Zigbee, technologies often used for connected watches.
To develop this technology, engineers reviewed the operation of the radio transmission system based on digital and analog operations. » Over the past 20 years the digital part of the equation has become very power efficient, but analog components are still very power hungry. “, they explain. So they separated these two operations to isolate the analog operation in a single device that will send the signal to a specific area, which will then be received and sent back using a switch to a low-power digital device. Power saving takes place as long as the low-power device is using the sent signal and the two are in close proximity.
This transmission will be able to reach a respectable speed of 11 Mbit/s to smartphones, routers or other equipment, with a range of 30 meters according to the engineers. Performance that does not allow you to watch a video in high definition, but which is more than enough to replace Bluetooth and other technologies used for connected objects.