Hoang, Minh Thien  ,  Hoang, Minh Thien

pp.1 - 97 , 2015-09-30 , The University of Electro-Communications
Wireless sensor networks (WSN) have been applied in wide range of applications and proved the more and more important contribution in the modern life. In order to evaluate a WSN, many metrics are considered such as cost, latency, power or quality of service. However, since the sensor nodes are usually deployed in large physical areas and inaccessible locations, the battery change becomes impossible. In this scenario, the power consumption is the most important metric. In a sensor node, the RF receiver is one of the communication devices, which consume a vast majority of power. Therefore, this thesis studies ultra low power RF receivers for the long lifetime of the sensor nodes. Currently, the WSNs use various frequency bands. However, for low power target, the sub-GHz frequency bands are preferred. In this study, ultra-low power 315 MHz and 920 MHz receivers will be proposed for short-range applications and long-range applications of the WSNs respectively. To achieve ultra-low power target, the thesis considers some issues in architecture, circuit design and fabrication technology for suitable choices. After considering different receiver architectures, the RF detection receiver with the On-Off-Keying (OOK) modulation is chosen. Then the thesis proposes solutions to reduce power consumption and concurrently guarantee high sensitivity for the receivers so that they can communicate at adequate distances for both short and long-range applications. First, a 920 MHz OOK receiver is designed for the long-range WSN applications. Typically, the RF amplifiers and local oscillators consume the most of power of RF receivers. In the RF detection receivers, the local oscillators are eliminated, however, the power consumption of the RF amplifiers is still dominant. By reducing the RF gain or removing the RF amplifier, the power consumption of the receivers can be reduced drastically. However, in this case the sensitivity is very limited. In order to overcome the trade-off between power consumption and sensitivity, the switched bias is applied to the RF amplifiers to reduce their power consumption substantially while guaranteeing high RF gain before RF detection. As a result, the receiver consumes only 53 W at 0.6 V supply with -82 dBm sensitivity at 10 kbps data rate. Next, an OOK receiver operating at 315 MHz for the short-range WSN applications with low complexity is proposed. In this receiver, the RF amplifier is controlled to operate intermittently for power reduction. Furthermore, taking advantage of the low carrier frequency, a comparator is used to convert the RF signal to a rail-to-rail stream and then data is demodulated in the digital domain. Therefore, no envelope detector or baseband amplifiers is required. The architecture of the receiver is verified by using discrete RF modules and FPGAs before it is designed on CMOS technology. By simulation with the physical layout, the 315 MHz OOK receiver consumes 27.6 W at 200 kbps and achieves -76.4 dBm sensitivity. Finally, the Synchronized-OOK (S-OOK) modulation scheme is proposed and then an S-OOK receiver operating in the 315 MHz frequency is developed to reduce power consumption more deeply. The S-OOK signal contains not only data but also clock information. By generating a narrow window, the RF front-end is enabled to receive signal only in a short period, therefore, power consumption of the receiver is reduced further. In addition, thank to the clock information contained in the input signal, the data and corresponding clock are demodulated simultaneously without a clock and data recovery circuit. The architecture of the S-OOK receiver is also verified by using discrete RF modules and FPGAs, then VLSI design is carried out. Physical layout simulation shows that the receiver can achieve -76.4 dBm sensitivity, consumes 8.39 W, 4.49 W, 1.36 W at 100 kbps, 50 kbps and 10 kbps respectively. In conclusion, with the objective is to look for solutions to minimize power consumption of receivers for extending the lifetime of sensor nodes while guaranteeing high sensitivity, this study proposed novel receiver architectures, which help reduce power consumption significantly. If using the coin battery CR2032 for power supply, the 920 MHz OOK receiver can work continuously in 1.45 years with communication distance of 259 meters; the 315 MHz OOK receivers can work continuously in 2.8 years with approximately 19 meters communication distance in free space. Whereas, the 315 MHz S-OOK receiver with the minimum power consumption of 1.36 W is suitable for batteryless sensor nodes.

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