Skip to Main Content
This paper presents a low power radio design tailored to the short distance, low data rate application of body area networks. In our analysis we consider a comparison between traditional continuous wave radios and ultra wide band impulse radios for this application space. We analyze the energy/bit requirement for each of the architectures and discuss how a duty-cycled radio is better suited to low data rate applications due to practical design considerations. As a proof-of-concept we present the design and measured results of a duty-cycled, noncoherent impulse radio transceiver. The designed transceiver was measured to consume only 19 μW at a data-rate of 100 kbps. The design gives a BER of 10-5 and works for a range of 2.5 m at an average Rx-sensitivity of -81 dBm. The designed transceiver enables both OOK and BPSK schemes and can be configured to use a pseudocoherent self-correlated signature detection and generation mechanism. This added functionality helps distinguish different types of pulses such as timing and data-pulses in real time. The transceiver was designed in a 90 nm CMOS process and occupies 2.3 mm2 area.