Driven by mobile phones, UWB chip manufacturers have borrowed mergers….

Figure, UWB Driven by mobile phones, chip manufacturers have used mergers and acquisitions to develop more potential applications in the

technology industry Information Room (iKnow) – Gloria Posted on December 21, 2020

Driven by mobile phones, UWB chip manufacturers have borrowed mergers and acquisitions to develop more potential applications

Ultra-wideband UWB has become Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi in wireless technology The next big thing is expected to make further progress from 2021. This also forces related industry chain manufacturers in many fields such as mobile phones, automobiles, and the Internet of Things to continue to increase their layout in the chip field, including: Qorvo, NXP, Time Domain, and STMicroelectronics have all joined the battle.

Interestingly, Qorvo, which supplies Apple’s RF chips, acquired UWB chip maker Decawave for $400 million in January 2020, and only started to enter the UWB field. STMicroelectronics also entered the UWB field by acquiring the French UWB startup BeSpoon in July 2020. This means that the major chip manufacturers are smelling the business opportunities that the UWB market is about to explode in the future.

Today, there are two key industry organizations supporting UWB technology, namely the UWB Alliance (UWB Alliance) and the FiRa Alliance (FiRa Consortium). In early 2020, the two organizations announced a joint liaison agreement outlining their clear roles and declaring a common goal to create an ecosystem that supports UWB and the use of UWB technology.

According to many studies, UWB technology will be used in future smart home technology, augmented reality, mobile payment, car key technology and even indoor navigation. For example: Smartphone manufacturers can use UWB to change the way people open their car doors and seamlessly integrate with the car through a personalized experience. Even UWB will allow people to find wallets, personal items and pets through keys.

That is to say, after the adoption of UWB technology, in the digital key field that originally had Bluetooth and NFC, in addition to being able to lock/unlock and start the car, the digital key can also be personalized (for example: seat, music and ID account), password Key sharing, vehicle tracking, and delivery. In short, the digital key combined with UWB will become a personalized element of the car, and will cause a lot of imagination and start new applications.

In the smart home scenario, UWB technology can use the mobile phone as the core for sensing and ranging, which minimizes the dependence of the traditional node mode, and then realizes functions such as mobile phone Internet of Things remote control and smart unlocking. The biggest advantage of using UWB technology is that it simplifies the interaction process between users and smart home devices and improves precision.

According to market rumors, Apple is planning to release an AirTags product with UWB wireless capabilities. Once it is attached to an object (such as a mobile phone, wallet, keys, etc.), the item can be found instantly through the Find My application on the mobile phone.

According to the forecast of the UWB Alliance, by 2025, UWB chip revenue will reach 10 times that of 2020. According to ABI Research, a global technology market consultancy, UWB-enabled smartphone shipments will grow from more than 42 million in 2019 (3% of smartphones) to nearly 514 million in 2025, accounting for nearly 514 million in 2025 Type mobile phones accounted for 32.5%. (728 words)

[Note] Ultra-wideband (UWB for short) is a wireless personal area network communication technology with low power consumption and high-speed transmission, suitable for wireless communication applications that require high-quality services, and can be used in wireless personal Area networks (WPANs), home network connections, and short-range radar. It does not use continuous sine waves, but uses pulse signals to transmit.

Google’s Ultra-wideband API hints at future standard of phone communication. Android Community,2020/11/11
ST makes acquisitions to strengthen wireless connectivity capabilities. New Electronics, 2020/7/17
STMicroelectronics Joins Ultra Wide Band Alliance and Nominates UWB Innovator Jean-Marie André to the Board of Directors. Globe Newswire, 2020/12/14

RFID Technology Rollout Strained by Chip Shortage

Chip shortages lead to RFID rollout
Claire Swedberg

With the double whammy of rising demand and supply delays, the RFID industry could face challenges throughout the year, and the technology’s long-term prospects seem promising.

March 4, 2022
Purchases of RFID technology increased as chip shortages continued to impact hardware production. Few in the RFID industry will miss the irony here: The technology needed to mitigate supply chain delays is being delayed by supply chains. While the source of the challenge is complex, the result can be summed up simply: demand outstrips supply.

The RFID industry faces more than just chip shortages. A global shortage of microchips affects everything from smartphones to electric toothbrushes, as well as the auto, airplane and gaming industries. Reasons include COVID-19-based fab closures, poor supply chain planning (exacerbated by a lack of RFID to track shipments from fab to store), and the low number of players in the wafer fabrication industry. Add to that a series of factory fires, record consumer demand, and the recent war in Europe and soaring energy prices.

“Now we’re seeing companies struggling to get a limited number of chips and scramble to build new fabs,” said Bindiya Vakil, CEO of supply chain solutions company Resilinc. Demand for RFID technology including readers is also growing. This is not expected to stop, so delays in the RFID industry are increasing. For example, RFID technology company Impinj warned in its first-quarter 2022 results that it will be severely impacted by a shortage of wafers and will not be able to meet demand.

“We’re starting to hear more and more about the potential impact of chip shortages on RFID, whether it’s orders not being filled, or deployment lead times being impacted,” said Sandeep Unni, senior director analyst at Gartner, Retail Research Practice. “If the current climate persists, supply is constrained and demand remains high, I suspect this could have broad implications for new projects or ongoing deployments later in the year.”

The bright side of the challenge is that this shortage is largely demand-driven. In fact, companies currently grappling with supply chain disruptions have turned to RFID for visibility to identify bottlenecks and understand where goods are in transit, according to Bill Ray, research vice president at Gartner. This includes the retail market, as well as many other industries such as toll collection, supply chain and logistics, and government programs. “Semiconductors are needed to make semiconductor chips,” Vakil said. “Ironic, isn’t it?”

In the fourth quarter of 2021, IC demand exceeded shipments by more than 50%, according to an earnings report from Impinj co-founder and CEO Chris Diorio. That could mean a slowdown for inlay makers that regularly shut down their production lines. “We continue to believe that if we had more supply, they would increase bookings,” Diorio said in the quarterly report. “Unfortunately, as of today, we haven’t.”

In the first half of this year, Impinj found wafer supply remained largely unchanged, with the company expecting 200mm and 300mm (8- and 12-inch) wafer supply commitments to equal or exceed its The fourth quarterly shipment level to the middle of the year. “But these shipments fell well short of our rapidly growing demand,” Diorio added in the report. “While our foundry partners continue to prioritize our upstream wafers, and we all hope for relief on the process nodes we use, the relief has so far not come — at least, not for our needs.”

Nonetheless, Impinj reports that it will continue to expand its 300mm post-processing capabilities to be ready when wafers return to normal volume. Meanwhile, the company said it had received record bookings and retail demand remained strong. According to a report by IDTechEx, the largest wafer suppliers forecast supply constraints in the next few years, with new wafer fabrication facilities not coming online until 2024 at the earliest.

Most RFID manufacturers rely on chip suppliers and capacity in Asia, and thus share challenges with other industries. What changes is the demand side of the equation. The growth of RFID is driven at least in part by the urgency for higher item-level inventory accuracy. This continues this year with new pending mandates from companies like Walmart (see Walmart Re-Commits to RFID) and Nordstrom (see Nordstrom Issues Supplier Mandate for RFID Tags). As a result, this supply-demand imbalance could exacerbate the supply shortage of RFID compared to other industries, Unni said (see the retailer’s mission is like dominoes).

Some chips used in RFID hardware have a more immediate impact than others. LevaData, a provider of integrated supply management software, is seeing increasing lead times for microchips related to clock timers and oscillators, although RFID-specific data points are limited, said Brian York, vice president of content and user experience at LevaData. . The supply issues for power management ICs and related chips are particularly acute, Ray noted, and they affect readers and supporting technology more than RFID tags, but the result is project delays and partial deployments. For example, semiconductor company NXP has a lead time of 50.9 weeks, while STMicroelectronics has a wait time of 47.4 weeks, according to LevaData.

By the end of 2021, the climate looks more promising, York said. “It looked like we might be hitting an imminent or leveling off lead time,” he recalls. “Then it spiked after December.” In some cases, chip suppliers have responded to shortages by supplying only to customers who have agreed to long-term commitments. Those customers may have to buy next year’s chips at the same price to secure this year’s supply. This benefits larger companies that can make such commitments, Ray said, adding: “However, we expect prices of semiconductors to come down next year, so it remains to be seen whether customers live up to those commitments in a crunch.”

Before facing these challenges, many RFID companies, especially the larger ones, stocked up in advance to prevent supply shortages. However, analysts agree that as these supplies sell, longer lead times and potential price increases are cause for concern. “Having said that,” Unni added, “most of the RFID vendors I’ve spoken with remain optimistic about the industry’s growth prospects and expect overall demand to remain strong.” All RFID tags and chips contacted for this matter The suppliers declined to comment.

Chip shortages are also encouraging technology suppliers to develop new RFID chipsets that perform better and are easier to use in RFID tags. Whether or not the chips are only available with long lead times, Vakil said, will have little impact on the demand or advancement of the technology. But she predicts that over the next few months and even years, “this could slow down the ability to actually produce high volumes.” The good news, Vakil noted, is that discussions have begun to revolve around how the industry can provide for key industries that rely on semiconductor products. Create a supply chain ecosystem to expand.

Part of the answer will focus on better transportation: building rail, roads and infrastructure, and using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies such as RFID to enable visibility into true supply chain self-reliance and resilience. “The focus should be on the ecosystem we’ve created around manufacturing,” Vakil said. For example, she added, semiconductors aren’t sold to people — they’re put into products, many of which are made in Asia. So, for example, by producing them in the U.S. and sending them to Asia to be placed in products, and then shipping those products back to the U.S., users create a more complex supply chain.

“We need to explore a more regionalized supply chain,” Vakil said, in which goods are manufactured closer to the market where they are sold. It takes an entire ecosystem to run a factory,” she explained, noting that it’s not just anyone who can come in and run such a factory. The supply chain relies on qualified professionals to produce, create and transport goods. “We need to plan capacity today, We anticipate demand for the next three to five years. For supply chain experts, this is a great opportunity to design what a supply chain should look like. ”

At the same time, RFID companies are looking for solutions to the problems that arise in 2022. Some hardware vendors have begun redesigning products to fit the available chips, an expensive and risky proposition. “From an engineering perspective, it was really challenging,” York said. Previously, many viewed redesigning a product to meet supply availability as a nuclear option, said Ron Giles, director of consulting services at LevaData. Recently, “redesign has become Plan B,” and it is fraught with challenges if there are further supply issues with even the chosen replacement chips, he said.

Reality behind lead times The
Omicron variant has led to the closure of many factories in Southeast Asia that provide semiconductor packaging. Those facilities have reopened, but delivery times may not adjust at the same pace as production ramps up. “In a way,” says Giles, “[manufacturers] don’t have a lot of incentive to lower their lead times” and deliver earlier than originally forecast, “because they’d rather have as much visibility into their orders as possible. .” He explained that this provides a sense of security for ongoing production.

That conservative plan is being driven by uncertainty, analysts say. “Everyone is on edge right now,” Giles said, “so I don’t think the possibility of manufacturers cutting lead times is likely to impact [RFID product manufacturers] right away. They don’t want to be caught off guard.” Because of this caution, it’s difficult to Know if the available delivery times are completely accurate. “I think a lot of them are now just saying, ‘We don’t see new capacity today,’ so they’re going to continue to have longer lead times for new orders.”

There are also questions about how much inventory is still shipping. , not visible somewhere in the supply chain – that’s the problem RFID is designed to solve. Additionally, some companies have been placing multiple orders with different suppliers, meaning some orders may not actually be active. Over the past two years, RFID companies and other manufacturers have tended to transition from lean inventory models to large orders, which may have exacerbated the order glut.

York reports that the light at the end of the tunnel remains elusive, but the industry hopes it will come from increased supply rather than reduced demand. “If something happens with interest rates rising, the economy falling and demand slowing, then you might see a shift,” he said, adding that there was little sign of such a downward trend.

Giles believes that the RFID industry still has to struggle to compete with industries such as gaming and automotive for limited supply. “It depends on how much leverage you have to put yourself in the lead,” he explained. Taking all these factors into account, most signs point to a significant increase in capacity until the end of this year or early 2023.

While almost all parties predict that the rest of the year will be difficult from a supply perspective, the role the RFID industry will play in addressing these challenges is likely to be important. The technology is already helping companies overcome supply chain challenges by automating information about commodities. Such IoT solutions “are helping businesses improve efficiency, transparency and sustainability,” Vakil said.

Claire Swedberg has been covering RFID technology for RFID Journal since 2005. She also writes for magazines on topics such as electrical installations and alternative energy. She is the author of five nonfiction history books and teaches adult writing classes.

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What functions did UWB positioning technology achieve in the Beijing Winter Olympics?

The Beijing Olympic Games, which takes the technology route, have adopted many new technologies, among which the UWB high-precision positioning system is among them. Whether it is a competition field of speed and time, or to meet the management needs during the epidemic prevention and control period, UWB is a high-performance positioning and ranging system. Technology, in the Winter Olympics is really showing their skills.

The core advantage of UWB positioning system is to achieve centimeter-level positioning. Under this precise position positioning, it can meet the needs of refined management in most industries. With accurate position data, the trajectory of personnel and materials can be recorded. Track and analyze, optimize management processes, and use the power of technology to improve work efficiency. The UWB positioning system has a large capacity and high density of tags, and can accurately locate indoors, so it has played a role that cannot be ignored in this Winter Olympics.

UWB positioning system personnel management requirements

This Winter Olympics is facing a huge pressure on epidemic prevention and control, not only the scheduling of all staff, but also the need to track the trajectory of everyone, through the crowd heat map analysis, even if the crowd is evacuated, it is now Abnormal personnel can track their itinerary in time and lock in close contacts to achieve rapid control of the epidemic.

In addition, in the management and scheduling of staff, instead of sticking to the traditional single-line call mode, the information can be directly issued according to the location information sent by the positioning tag of the staff or dispatched through real-time location distribution, so as to achieve more efficient staff management. .UWB定位系统在“科技奥运”扮演什么角色

Safety positioning system in competition
There are still many thrilling and dangerous projects in the Winter Olympic Games, so we must ensure safety and timely rescue in terms of protective measures. UWB positioning technology real-time positioning can accurately locate the position of athletes and rescue at the first time of accidents, especially for long-distance movement tracks. It is necessary to race against time in rescue.
Application of UWB positioning system in motion standardization
In fact, UWB positioning system is not a new application only for the Olympic Games. In previous years, there have been some scattered projects in China, such as football and basketball. Only UWB technology can help athletes improve the training effect. Therefore, UWB also contributes a lot in standardizing the movement details of athletes.
Using UWB positioning technology to track the track route of athletes before the game is helpful to analyze, study and judge their training process, optimize the training weaknesses, and improve the athletes’ performance as much as possible. Even if there is only a little improvement, the athletes’ performance can be improved to a higher level.
UWB positioning system has more and more application scenarios, but different positioning demand scenarios have different technical requirements. Compared with relatively open sports venues, industrial application scenarios have more obstructions and complex space, and a single positioning can not meet the needs of all areas. Under the dual role of market demand and technology upgrading, four phase technology UWB combined with Bluetooth AOA integrated positioning system is available, which integrates the advantages of dual technology and fully meets the positioning needs of complex industrial environment.


原文標題 : UWB定位技術在北京冬奧會上實現了哪些功能?