Ultra-small scale low energy bi-directional communications interface

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering


Context of research
With both the internet of things (IOT) and brain-machine interfaces (BMI), together with the ever forward march of microelectronics, there is a pressing need for the continued development of ultra-small and ultra-low power consumption wireless communications interfaces. This research aims to explore microscopic low energy radio solutions for both implanted multichannel bi-directional communications and all-body sensor networks, together with un-powered fit-and-forget IOT sensors and RF bar-code devices for non-near field interrogation. The key requirement being the ability to occupy the smallest possible footprint and operate with the minimum possible energy, especially if this electromagnetic energy is to be harvested from the surrounding environment, and transmit various radio signals either continuously or occasionally. Efficiency and minimum component count is vital in achieving this.

Research Area
Mixed-signal low-power microelectronics and RF Communications

Aims and objectives
Primarily this project will investigate various configurations and approaches together with their related trade-offs in terms of bandwidth and energy per bit or equivalent and range following from size, power consumption and complexity, and to realize and evaluate the smallest possible physical footprint and energy consumption of competing multichannel topologies.

Using a modular approach, design and realize a single chip bi-directional multi-channel communications interface, measuring no more than 3x4mm and consuming less than 500uW of power with bit rates of greater than 10Mbit/s. Design compatible low-energy wireless range extenders with increased power consumption depending on the range and data rates.

Applications and Impact
The modular, building-block approach will favour optimized use in low-energy variable data rate implanted and all-body sensors, advanced prosthetics, micro-robotics, and internet of things applications. The impact is expected to follow from the fact that this area is one of several key enablers along the far reaching road of pervasive low-energy electronic sensing and control, and as such has relevance in healthcare, security, commerce and the environment.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509681/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1803776 Studentship EP/N509681/1 01/10/2016 30/06/2021 Kevin Lichtensteiger