10 November 2020
wake-up receiver (WUR), radiofrequency envelope detector (RFED), tuned-radiofrequency (tuned-RF), low power, energy efficient, wireless sensor network (WSN), complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS), active inductor, integrated transformer
The development of wake-up receivers (WuR) has recently received a lot of interest from both academia and industry researchers, primarily because of their major impact on the improvement of the performance of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). In this paper, we present the development of three different radiofrequency envelope detection (RFED) based WuRs operating at the 868 MHz industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band. These circuits can find application in densely populated WSNs, which are fundamental components of Internet-of-Things (IoT) or Internet-of-Everything (IoE) applications. The aim of this work is to provide circuits with high integrability and a low cost-per-node, so as to facilitate the implementation of sensor nodes in low-cost IoT applications. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a WuR with commercially available off-chip components, the design of an RFED WuR in a PCB mount is presented. The circuit is validated in a real scenario by testing the WuR in a system with a pattern recognizer (AS3933), an MCU (MSP430G2553 from TI), a transceiver (CC1101 from TI) and a T/R switch (ADG918). The WuR has no active components and features a sensitivity of about −50 dBm, with a total size of 22.5 × 51.8 mm 2. To facilitate the integration of the WuR in compact systems and low-cost applications, two designs in a commercial UMC 65 nm CMOS process are also explored. Firstly, an RFED WuR with integrated transformer providing a passive voltage gain of 18 dB is demonstrated. The circuit achieves a sensitivity as low as −62 dBm and a power consumption of only 528 nW, with a total area of 634 × 391 μm 2. Secondly, so as to reduce the area of the circuit, a design of a tuned-RF WuR with integrated current-reuse active inductor is presented. In this case, the WuR features a sensitivity of −55 dBm with a power consumption of 43.5 μW and a total area of 272 × 464 μm 2, obtaining a significant area reduction at the expense of higher power consumption. The alternatives presented show a very low die footprint with a performance in line with most of the state-of-the-art contributions, making the topologies attractive in scenarios where high integrability and low cost-per-node are necessary.