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BlinkSight, IMEC launch single-chip indoor GPS sol'n

15 Apr 2013

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A single-chip indoor GPS solution has recently been introduced by fabless semiconductor company BlinkSight. The system solution was based on IMEC and Holst Centre's ultra-low power impulse radio technology and made for real-time location systems (RTLS) and wireless sensor network (WSN) applications. The chip tracks and traces people and objects indoors by delivering real-time information.

BlinkSight's innovative system solution uses the ultra-low power 'impulse-radio' (IR), which enables real-time 3D location information that is accurate to within 10cm. The device combines digital processing elements and sophisticated analogue radio functionality in a single chip, enabling superior performance at a low cost of ownership. It can operate in both the 3.1-4.8GHz and 6-10GHz bands for use around the world and seamless co-existence with other wireless technologies.

Moreover, with an operating voltage range of 1.5 to 3.6V, the new device is ideal for battery-powered applications. Together with its small form factor and low power consumption, this makes it suitable for integration into tags, wireless sensors, base stations and mobile devices. A base station equipped with BlinkSight's technology could track and trace thousands of fast moving tags in real time. In addition the tags are interactive and capable of sending dynamic data (e.g. temperature).

"A lot of effort went into minimising power consumption and we expect to have tags powered by energy harvesting available soon. We aim to bring a complete turnkey system to market and want to work with industry leaders to bring accurate indoor GPS capabilities to connected devices," said BlinkSight CEO and founder Stéphane Mutz.

Fabricated in standard 90nm RF-CMOS, the chip is manufactured at TSMC in Taiwan.

Key features

  • Single chip impulse radio transceiver optimised for indoor GPS applications
  • Standard 90nm RF-CMOS technology
  • Single 1.5 to 3.6V power supply
  • Embedded software programmable ultra-low power 128bit vector DSP (<16 pJ / cycle)
  • Range: > 60 m LOS (Line of Sight) / > 20 m N-LOS (No Line of Sight)
  • 3D positioning accuracy better than 10cm
  • 5+ years operation from a standard coin battery

For more information, please visit

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