FM-UWB: Towards a Robust, Low-Power Radio for Body Area Networks

Sensors (Basel). 2017 May 6;17(5):1043. doi: 10.3390/s17051043.


The Frequency Modulated Ultra-Wideband (FM-UWB) is known as a low-power, low-complexity modulation scheme targeting low to moderate data rates in applications such as wireless body area networks. In this paper, a thorough review of all FM-UWB receivers and transmitters reported in literature is presented. The emphasis is on trends in power reduction that exhibit an improvement by a factor 20 over the past eight years, showing the high potential of FM-UWB. The main architectural and circuit techniques that have led to this improvement are highlighted. Seldom explored potential of using higher data rates and more complex modulations is demonstrated as a way to increase energy efficiency of FM-UWB. Multi-user communication over a single Radio Frequency (RF) channel is explored in more depth and multi-channel transmission is proposed as an extension of standard FM-UWB. The two techniques provide means of decreasing network latency, improving performance, and allow the FM-UWB to accommodate the increasing number of sensor nodes in the emerging applications such as High-Density Wireless Sensor Networks.

Keywords: FM; Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA); UWB; Wireless Body Area Networks (WBAN); low-power; multi-user; transceiver.