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Theses Doctoral

Energy-Detecting Receivers for Wake-Up Radio Applications

Mangal, Vivek

In the energy-limited wireless sensor node applications, wake-up radios are required to reduce the average power consumption of the node. Energy-detecting receivers are the best fit for such low power operations. This thesis presents the energy-detecting receiver design; challenges; techniques to enhance sensitivity, selectivity; and multi-access operation. Self-mixers instead of the conventional envelope detectors are proposed and proved to be optimal for signal detection. A fully integrated wake-up receiver uses the self-mixer and time-encoded baseband signal processing to provide a sensitivity of -79.1dBm at 434MHz with 420pW of power, providing an 8dB better sensitivity at 10dB lower power consumption compared to the SoA.
A novel approach using narrowband interferers as local oscillators will be presented to further enhance sensitivity and selectivity, effectively operating the energy-detector receiver as a direct down-conversion receiver. Additionally, a clockless continuous-time analog correlator will be introduced to enhance the selectivity to wide-band AM interferers. The architecture uses pulse-position-encoded analog signal processing with VCOs as integrators and pulse-controlled relaxation delays; it operates as a code-domain matched filter to de-spread asynchronous wake-up codes. This code-domain matched filtering also provides code-division multiple access (CDMA) for simultaneous wakeups.
Additional enhancement in the link can be achieved using directional antennas, providing spatial gain and selectivity. Certain applications can leverage a nearby reflector similar to a Yagi antenna to enhance the directivity. A low power directional backscatter tag is proposed, it uses multiple antennas acting as a reflectarray by configuring constant phase gradients depending on the direction of arrival (DoA) of the signal.
Thus, instead of harvesting energy, the same energy and the surrounding environment can be leveraged to enhance functionality (e.g. interferer as LO, using a backscatter tag on a wall) for low power operation. Innovations spanning both system and circuit architectures that leverage the ambient energy and environment to enable power-efficient solutions for next-generation wake-up radios are presented in this work.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Electrical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Kinget, Peter R.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 16, 2020