HellaPHY wireless positioning better than 50 meters for IoT

September 26, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

Acorn Technologies Inc., a semiconductor and wireless technology company focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), has developed and  demonstrated new wireless long-term evolution (LTE) positioning technology for the location of things. The LTE location-based technology meets the new Enhanced 911 (E911) mandate performance requirements and performs well in very low bandwidth conditions. HellaPHY technology provides better than 50-meter accuracy for next generation location of things in the machine-type communications (MTC) and IoT markets.

Location of devices acts as an organizing principle for anything connected to the internet, helping organize the billions of internet-connected devices based on the sensors and other location-centric elements in them. The installed base of IoT endpoints will grow to more than 25 billion in 2019, hitting 30 billion in 2020, according to a recent IoT forecast.

“We are achieving accuracy in low bandwidth scenarios,” says Steven Caliguri, VP of wireless products at Acorn Technologies. “We believe that our advanced LTE positioning solution is the lowest complexity, lowest cost and lowest power solution available today for LTE based applications from high-end smartphones to loT.”

Acorn has demonstrated better than 50-meter accuracy in live network testing of their user equipment (UE)-based positioning algorithms for low bandwidth CAT-M devices. (Cat-M refers to Category M, the second generation of LTE chipsets meant for IoT applications.) The network tests were conducted on a network that has not been fully optimized for LTE-based positioning.  Further gains are expected when optimizations begin to rollout.

Acorn’s network testing has demonstrated the ability to exceed the 2021 E911 mandated performance requirements even in low-bandwidth scenarios.

The technology has been developed from the core hellaPHY Channel Estimation algorithm that employs machine-learning techniques. The positioning algorithms are  suited for IoT applications due to their extremely low complexity, and require less then 10 kilobytes of memory and only a fraction of a low-end DSP during the maximum processing interval. It has further proven to exceed the performance of super resolution algorithms at a fraction of the complexity.

HellaPHY RSTD is an advanced signal processing algorithm that was developed to improve LTE wireless network indoor and outdoor location accuracy. It is designed to be a drop-in replacement for existing Reference Signal Time Difference (RSTD) algorithms in UE chipsets and can be customized for any unique DSP or interface requirements. The hellaPHY RSTD IP core is designed to support advanced LTE features contemplated by operators as well as for LTE Release 14 including Positioning Reference Signals (PRS) muting, Cell-Specific Reference Signal (CRS) plus PRS transmit diversity, and fractional Ts reporting. The hellaPHY RSTD IP core is scalable and can support CAT-M through CAT-15.

(” … the ubiquitous parameter Ts. This nameless parameter is the most basic unit of time in the LTE air interface and pretty much everything in the LTE frame structure is based on multiples of this basic time unit, capital “T”, sub small “s”. Ts is defined exactly as: Ts = 1/(15000 x 2048) seconds, a little more than 32 nano-seconds.”

— from LTEuniversity.com)

Acorn Technologies is a provider of performance scaling semiconductor and wireless intellectual property for the Internet of Things. With nearly 200 patents issued and pending, Acorn’s IP addresses the fundamental building blocks with algorithms for wireless and IoT. The company’s semiconductor IP portfolio includes buried silicon stressors and metal insulator silicon  technologies to significantly boost semiconductor transistor performance.

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About the Author: Alan Cameron

Alan Cameron is the former editor-at-large of GPS World magazine.