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Friday, March 28, 2014
Panasonic Develops New Multi-Mode Wireless Communication Technology for Sensor Networks


Panasonic has developed a new wireless communication technology for M2M (Machine-to-Machine) sensor networks, where devices communicate with each other in an autonomous way without human intervention.

The technology is based on a single chip of LSI that can simultaneously detect multiple wireless communication standards, which differ from one country to another or in the target applications.

In wireless sensor networks, FSK modulation is normally used. In order to receive multi-mode signals of different frequencies or based on different standards, a receiver needs to eliminate noise in accordance with bandwidth of each mode, thus a dedicated wireless LSI is required for each wireless mode.

Panasonic developed technologies to detect all frequency components simultaneously within multiple modes by employing Short-time DFT, which can also determine the data rate with respect to each mode by hardware and then demodulates by achieving an optimum control to the data rate. In addition, instead of switching among multiple software control modules each corresponding to one transfer rate, a unified software module for all modes is newly implemented. These technologies enable a single LSI to support multiple wireless modes, reducing the amount of signal processing in microcomputer. As a result, engineers can design and develop wireless modules that are small but can operate for an extended period of time. The newly-developed technology makes it easier to connect disparate devices and helps accelerate the spread of wireless sensor networks -- wireless systems where various sensor data are transmitted through wireless communications. The sensor data may include temperature, humidity, brightness and power consumption at home.



The new multi-mode wireless communication technology integrates multiple receiver circuits required for each individual wireless mode into a single one, enabling devices to be connected to each other regardless of operation frequencies and wireless standards. With a smaller area, the same as the receiving part of conventional single-mode wireless chip, multi-mode wireless LSI can support up to three different wireless modes at a time. Panasonic clams that the new LSI helps create a small and power-saving wireless module that will continue to operate for around 20 years on the battery.

Panasonic developed the new technology with the support of the "Research and Development for Expansion of Radio Spectrum Resources" program of The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan. The company will start field tests today at The ICT Incubation Laboratory in Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo.




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