Apple’s UWB Efforts—Past, Present, and Future

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3Q 2020 | IN-5869


What Is UWB?


Ultra-Wideband (UWB) is a location communication technology that provides accurate, cm-level, real-time ranging and positioning information to deliver the relative location of devices by measuring the time it takes a signal to travel between them. Tags, anchors, vehicles, smartphones, wearables, and more have the ability to take advantage of UWB technology. Its wide bandwidth provides stable connectivity with minimal interference, low battery consumption, and precise positioning at a frequency range of 3.1 to 10.6 GHz.

While UWB has only recently come to the forefront of many companies’ efforts, the technology has been around for some time; the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first authorized its use for military radars and heart monitoring in 2002. At the time, UWB was an immature technology, providing lower-than-expected performance at a high cost, which limited its initial uptake. Now, after much Research and Development (R&D), UWB is cheap, small, and effective. The new 802.15.4z standard is likely to aid the development of UWB, adding new features to the 802.15.4 standard includi…

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