Ultra-wideband (UWB) technology has become a significant short-range wireless standard in the smartphone ecosystem, following its adoption by consumer electronics manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and Google. UWB is also being adopted by standard bodies such as the Car Connectivity Consortium®, with its Digital Key 3.0 release, and the FiRa™ Consortium, which recently announced its first certification program for UWB device interoperability.

To meet the growth in UWB for ubiquitous high precision sensing, Mauna Kea Semiconductors (MKSemi) has introduced the MK8000 SoC, which MKSemi says is the world’s lowest power and highest integrated chip solution. Drawing 43 mA at 3 V bias in receive mode, the MK8000 has 2x lower power consumption than other SoCs. For full ranging and angle of arrival measurement, it integrates an ARM Cortex M0 microcontroller with multiple RF channels: four receive (Rx) and one transmit (Tx), including the Tx/Rx switch and matching network. This integration lowers the bill of materials cost and reduces printed circuit board footprint.

Supporting the widest frequency band, from 3.1 to ~ 9 GHz (UWB bands 1 and 2), the MK8000 meets all global UWB standards and is backward compatible. It handles data rates of 110 and 850 kbps and 6.8, 27 and 54 Mbps, supporting many applications and ensuring futureproofing. Applications for the SoC range from the location solutions being integrated into smartphones and automobiles, as well as consumer and industrial IoT applications from smart homes and cities to cars and hospitals.

For automotive, MKSemi has partnered with Infineon Technologies and ThinkSeed Systems to develop secure ranging and location solutions for IoT applications, jointly developing a design that pairs the Bluetooth Low Energy microcontroller from Infineon with the MK8000.

Mauna Kea Semiconductors (MKSemi)
San Jose, Calif.