The backscatter approach uses existing RF signals rather than a dedicated carrier to transmit data using very little energy and without a battery. Each device has an antenna to pick up an existing RF signal and uses it as a power source. It uses that power to reflect the signal, modulated with encoded data. Antennas on other devices detect that signal in a similar way.
HaiLa's first product is the RLWi4, an RF macro-cell designed for implementation in Globalfoundries' 180nm CMOS manufacturing process. HaiLa had previously said it's first product would be available for licensing before the end of 2020.
The RLWi4 is a 2.4 GHz ISM band Wi-Fi front-end IP core that uses backscatter to transmit data at up to 1 Mbit per second. It is suitable for low power sensor networks, the company said. The RLWi stands for RadioLess Wireless.
The macro is compatible with conventional Wi-Fi networks and synchronizes to, and retrieves data from length-modulated WiFi packages. The macro features a backscattering modulator, power management unit, SPI ports for control and data, and requires a 1.2V supply and a 50 MHz system clock during TX, and 5 MHz clock during RX.
The core consumes 10 μA while transmitting Wi-Fi DSSS signals at 1Mbps and consumes 2 μA when synchronizing and receiving data. This makesit suitable for applications in IoT sensor networks in industrial and building automation and in smart homes.
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