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Make Batteries Last Longer: IEEE 802.11 Wake-Up Radio

How to make batteries last longer: An Introduction to IEEE 802:11 Wake-Up Radio

It’s no secret that our increasingly technological world depends on increasingly available and sustainable energy sources. The onset of the Internet of Things (IoT) is only adding to this need. Imagine farmers using sensors in smart agriculture to monitor soil moisture and track their animals’ locations/conditions. Or imagine an elderly or ill person at home relying on wearable health monitoring devices to keep doctors informed of his or her well-being. In the former case, having to replace batteries in sensors will be a time-consuming and costly task; in the latter case, insufficient battery power could put someone’s health at serious risk. We have to make batteries last longer.

Both cases illustrate the need for reliable, long-lasting batteries. One revolutionary solution is on the horizon, however: the IEEE 802.11ba task group is developing a new standard for Low-Power IEEE Wake-Up Radio (LP-WUR) for WiFi networks. This standard will slash remote-device power consumption and significantly lengthen battery life by adding another low-power radio receiver to the device. The low-power radio waits quietly for a signal to “call its name,” upon which it turns on the primary WiFi radio to begin data exchange. It is estimated that a low-power IEEE Wake-Up Radio that stays on will consume an extremely small amount of power, reducing power consumption by 94%.

In addition to the power reduction from the IEEE Wake-Up Radio, engineers plan to reduce the duty cycle further and streamline signal handling to increase battery life a thousand-fold, extending the life of a single charge to years. Such an increase will have a tremendous impact on cost savings (for both batteries and replacement labor). With the Internet of Things (IoT) weaving seemingly endless connections between people and devices, the demand for longer-lasting batteries becomes ever more pressing. IEEE Wake-Up Radio is a solution that every device and sensor manufacturer needs to be aware of, and prepare for, in order to make batteries last longer.

You can find out more about IEEE Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with devices that your organization develops in the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces. Pre-order your copy today!

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