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Chirp spread spectrum gains momentum

Posted: 29 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chirp spread spectrum? CSS technology? real-time location?

Spotlight is on a new standard for real-time locating systems based on chirp spread spectrum (CSS) technology. The ISO/IEC JTC 1 / SC 31 new work item proposal 24730-3 passed with support from 20 countries' national bodies though only five are required.

To accelerate development, a proposed draft standard was also approved with support from 18 countries. The group will meet in Berlin in June to resolve the ballot comments and edit the new draft standard.

German wireless technology developer Nanotron Technologies GmbH (Berlin) has led global CSS standardization efforts and says the technology is ideal for real-time location, offering accuracy, reliable two-way data communication and low power consumption.

The new standard builds on the IEEE 802.15.4a CSS PHY standard. Last October, the 802.15.4a task group, working on a wireless personal-area network (PAN) standard for the low-rate industrial market, chose the chirp spread spectrum PHY technology designed by Nanotron Technologies as the baseline PHY standard.

Nanotron plans to offer chips based on chirp spread spectrum that can be used in either indoor applications with ranges up to 60m or outdoor applications out to 900m.

Also last October, Nanotron inked a deal with STMicroelectronics to develop complete designs for wireless control and sensor networks targeted at the real-time location systems market. The collaboration between the two companies focuses on the development of components and reference designs, including hardware, software and tools, for the industrial and the active RFID asset-tracking market. The effort combines Nanotron's systems expertise and IP for designing RF systems based on chirp spread spectrum radio hardware and software with ST's capabilities in semiconductor development.

Commenting on the standards bodies' decision, John Lampe, Nanotron's VP for business development and project editor of the new standard, said, "We are very pleased that CSS is gaining momentum. This is the second international CSS standard, and we expect more application-level standards to also build upon the IEEE 802.15.4a PHY and MAC foundation."

-John Walko
EE Times Europe

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