Low energy UWB transceivers for megabit per second streaming: Page 2 of 2

March 18, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Spark launches 1nJ/bit short-range, high bandwidth transceivers
Canadian startup Spark Microsystems International has launched its first products – two low power ultrawide band (UWB) transceivers suited for megabit per second data streaming.

Spark has produced two chips – the SR1010 and the SR1020 – to cover the spectrum from 3 to 6 GHz and from 6 GHz to 10 GHz. This is partly because different regulations cover the outdoor deployment of this spectrum in Europe and elsewhere in the world, Nabki said.

Worldwide UWB regulation. Source: Spark Microsystems International

Compared to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which typically has an airtime of a few milliseconds causing noticeable latency of tens of milliseconds, the SR1000 UWB transceiver can send 1 kb of data in only 50 microseconds, yielding significantly shorter wireless latency in a wide range of applications, such as audio streaming. The Spark transceiver’s power consumption, typically 1nJ/bit, is typically 40x lower than BLE when operating at 1Mbps. With a data transfer rate up to 10x higher than BLE, the SR1000 series’ 10 Mbps capability suits content-rich applications, such as video streaming, where high bandwidth low latency links are essential.

The SR1000 series comprises two pin-identical product variants to accommodate the different regional spectrum allocations; the SR1010 for 3.1 GHz to 6 GHz, and the SR1020 for 6 GHz to 9.5 GHz. Spark Microsystems’ wide-spectrum UWB transceivers aid product development teams to differentiate their products by enhancing the user experience, requiring less battery changes. The SR1000 series can also be used for a variety of ranging and positioning applications in addition to provisioning a low emissions, low power, low latency symmetrical data link.

Sanjay Jha, previously the CEO of Globalfoundries and COO of Qualcomm and a recent addition to the Spark board of directors said: "Spark has developed and delivered the first truly differentiated solution which allows for predictable and ultra-low latency communication for both the consumer, home and industrial applications. Additionally, it delivers accurate ranging, interference resistance and enables a trade-off between range and throughput rates."

CEO Mubarak said: "We are in a sub-90nm process with foundry TSMC and not using the LP [low power] form of the process."

The SR1000 series is currently sampling and with production quantities available from 3Q20 onwards.


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