Interpretation of opportunities for domestic UWB chip-level solutions

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Guide: What are the highlights of the fourth phase of the online salon of Ulink Media, the editor summarizes here for you!

A dozen years ago, some research institutions predicted that after 2013, UWB will disappear from the field of consumer electronics applications. A dozen years ago, some research institutions predicted that after 2013, UWB will disappear from the field of consumer electronics applications. Now it seems, UWB not only did not disappear completely in this area, but its development rate has increased and unabated.
Although UWB technology is less mature in industrial applications than in consumer applications, but with the implantation of UWB technology in its mobile phones last year, Apple once again brought UWB's heat to the highest point.
When the UWB heat is pulled to the highest point, Ulink Media invites ShenZhen New radio Tech Company founding Partner/CEO Zhenqi Chen to Online salon sharing about “UWBConsumer applications are about to erupt, what are the opportunities for domestic UWB chip-level solutions ”,The following content is compiled from this online salon live broadcast, which is divided into five parts.
I. Introduction of UWB traditional industry applications 
II. Based on the mobile phone market, the trend of UWB application in consumer electronics market has shown an explosion 
III. In-depth understanding of UWB Industry Association and IEEE technical standards 
IV. UWB chip design technical challenges under new standards and new applications 
V. Conclusion
01、Introduction of UWB traditional industry applications

In the application of traditional industries, the technical solutions mostly adopt the mode with base stations and terminal nodes, which requires the coordination of positioning base stations. The characteristic of this mode is that nodes need to be deployed in the network, and most applications require centralized calculation. Therefore, UWB scale application expansion is greatly restricted.
This mode is more suitable for applications in closed space scenarios, such as large factories / underground locating / underground garages / special industries (prisons / big ships / big ships), etc.
Users in traditional UWB industries mostly adopt the Anchor-Tag model, although the scale of UWB development is limited to a certain extent, the user volume of the enterprise-level application market will still achieve millions of growth in the next 5 years. At the same time, China's UWB enterprise application market shipments are expected to reach 4.5 million, 8.5 million and 12 million respectively in the next three years. Overall, the entire UWB enterprise market volume will achieve a gradual increase.
02、Based on the mobile phone market, the trend of UWB application in consumer electronics market has shown an explosion 
First, let's take a look at the current situation in the mobile phone market?
It is understood that the sales of iPhone 11 in 2019 are about 40 million units, that is, the sales of UWB chips are 40 million, which almost reaches the total sales of UWB chips in the industry in previous years.And this year, according to the forecast of relevant agencies, the sales of iphone will reach about 200 million units, and some will bring UWB chips. It can be seen that the market scale of consumer-grade UWB chips is very huge. With the rapid growth of UWB penetration rate, although domestic chips are currently difficult to enter Apple mobile phones, the UWB demand market forecast for Samsung, domestic leading customers such as Huami OV, and other domestic ODM and second-tier manufacturers will also be very broad. UWB May even become the standard for future mobile phones
It can be said that the application market of mobile phone consumer electronics is a brand-new growth point for the application of UWB technology. In this application scenario, the mobile phone can be used as the core for distance measurement, which avoids the mode of node network deployment in traditional industries, and can realize the functions of mobile phone Internet of things remote control, intelligent unlocking/garage control and secure payment. This has brought a lot of application space to UWB technology, and the potential application prospect is huge.

It can be seen from the picture that the growth of global smartphone shipments will not change significantly, but UWB will have greater growth in mobile phone applications. Compared with traditional industry applications, this will be a huge blue ocean market. The peripheral UWB devices/labels derived from mobile phones will be several times the number of mobile phones, or even tens of times the volume.
Second, let's look at the two most mature cases of UWB in mobile phone consumer applications so far:

Case One

In this case, using the original solution is prone to safety problems. For example, a non-owner can open the door of the vehicle without the owner's knowledge through a wireless repeater, resulting in different degrees of damage to the owner's property. As a centimeter-level positioning accuracy technology, UWB can limit the distance range of the car door according to the needs.
>The reason why UWB can solve this pain point is: 1. The characteristic of UWB positioning technology is that a slight delay may cause a huge gap to drive the door, so-called thousands of miles of difference; 2.Action to strengthen data security encryption .
Based on this, driving in the future, driving doors, opening garages, and unlocking friends through mobile phone authentication will become more secure in the future.

Case Two

Because UWB has the advantages of no need to be close to the device and security certification, it can be regarded to some extent as having the advantages of two-dimensional code and NFC technical solutions.
03、 In-depth understanding of UWB Industry Association and IEEE technical standards
At present, in the global scope, the four most well-known standards organizations are: American Electronic Engineering Association, European Telecommunications Standards Association, UWB Alliance and FiRa Club.

About the American Institute of Electrical Engineering:

Around 2000, UWB technology began to be used in the civilian field. It was initially promoted by the 802.15.3 agreement. Early on, due to the existence of two different technical directions in the agreement, the agreement was not finalized and the agreement was aborted. Later, the technology was transferred to the 802.15.4 standard, which gave birth to a new life and achieved rapid development.

IEEE 802.15.4 defines the protocol of Low Rate Wireless Personal Area Network (LR-WPAN), where UWB related content is maintained by the IEEE 802.15TG4z working group.

The TG4z working group includes well-known international companies such as NXP, Apple, Decawave, and Samsung, and is responsible for the research on the enhanced HRP and LRP physical layer and MAC layer related ranging technology. It is expected that the stable version of the standard will be released in June this year. And new smart phones and consumer electronics applications must be compatible with the 4z protocol.

About the European Telecommunications Standards Institute:

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute TG UWB working group was established in 2017. The working group includes Bosch, Decawave, Qualcomm, Ubisense and other internationally renowned companies. It researches and develops the ETSI radio standard for short ranging devices. The standard can be used for communications and networks. In applications such as sensors and sensors, the final technical specifications are expected to be released in June this year.

About UWB Alliance:

The alliance was established in December 2018. It is a global non-profit organization that aims to establish UWB technology as an open industry standard. It mainly establishes transport layer and network layer standards. It is expected that relevant standards will be released in Q4 this year.

As can be seen from the above figure, the alliance covers enterprises with a relatively complete industrial chain from chips, modules, solutions to applications, and the applications are mainly cars, mobile phones, tags/wearing, and robots.
About FiRa Club:

From the above two figures, the club mainly promotes the interoperability of UWB devices to establish a good UWB ecosystem. The club takes ranging as the core and will eventually establish relevant standards.
Combined with members of the UWB Alliance and FiRa Club, the application of UWB mentioned in the mobile phone consumer electronics market has shown an explosive trend, and the clues can be seen from the application component of the two.
04、UWB chip design technology challenges under new standards and new applications

At present, both HRP and LRP have been adopted by IEEE 802.15, but there are different companies driving and advancing behind the two protocols.

During the salon sharing process, Dr. Chen put forward relevant suggestions: industry users should not choose the side station through chips, because the cost of dual mode coexistence is not great. However, there are also certain challenges in dual-mode coexistence. The challenges are (from the perspective of HRP compatibility with LRP):
LRP has higher requirements for the design of the power amplifier, and the instantaneous power has increased by more than 10dB. This gap actually belongs to a completely different design threshold;
Need a good design of successful integration to achieve the optimization of chip area and efficiency;
Based on low power consumption design requirements, the power amplifier can be switched at any time, and stability must be ensured when switching between high power and instantaneous power;
The two protocols are based on different modulation methods, need to support signals with different bandwidths and pulse widths, and require more precise time domain control and narrower time accuracy; multiple modulation methods also need flexible support on digital and baseband, So need to use the design idea of software radio to design.
About LB and HB

Earlier, the China Radio Regulatory issued a standard that has a very low power limit for UWB LB power consumption. The power spectral density is much lower than the FCC limit, reaching -70dBm/MHz, which means that the low frequency band is in open space. Not available. In response to this, Dr. Chen suggested that applications such as mobile phones can be concentrated in high frequency bands above 6.5G. Dr. Chen mentioned that UWB chip design manufacturers, except for Decawave, the monopoly products of industry users are all in LB, and the new chips (including Decawave) are concentrated in HB.
Based on this point, it also faces some design challenges, such as:
Realize low-power wide-band phase-locked loop, covering the range of 6.5G ~ 10G;
How to optimize the area ratio;
The achievement of quick start and quick lock requires high technical accumulation.
In the chip design process, the challenges are not limited to the two aspects mentioned above. In fact, how to support both standard ranging and enhanced ranging, various positioning algorithms, secure ranging, and data encryption, etc. There are different challenges in areas such as:
More complex transceiver structure achieves complex and diverse modulation methods;
AES-128 hardware acceleration;
Larger-scale dedicated digital circuits implement multiple encoding methods and underlying MAC functions
Higher performance CPU implements more complex MAC functions and upper layer protocols
Own anti-multipath high sensitivity received signal time measurement algorithm, compatible with multiple ranging solutions;
How to minimize external devices to reduce costs, etc.
With Apple implanting UWB technology in its mobile phones last year, UWB consumer market applications were once again detonated.
As mentioned earlier, the trend of UWB application in the consumer electronics market has emerged. For domestic UWB chip manufacturers, all aspects have also sent good signals, indicating the existence of opportunities:
First of all, in this market outbreak, China may become the home of the outbreak, and in the field of chips, domestic substitution has been the main theme in recent years.
Secondly, from the current UWB development progress, the gap between UWB chip research and development and foreign manufacturers is only half a generation to one generation, which may be regarded as the most closely followed by international progress in the entire chip development history. Not many chip manufacturers have entered the market, and competition is relatively small.
Of course, in the case that the standard agreements have not yet been finalized, companies entering the market are required to have a better grasp of the technical agreements, and at the same time have a keen market insight to meet the corresponding market demand.

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