Circuit Cellar (February 2004)

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4 called ZigBee is emerging that aims to do the same thing for lower-bandwidth, lower-power apps, such as home automation and sensor telemetry. Chipcon recently announced an RFIC a) b) Photo 4a—The stack sensor architecture is a compact, configurable, multimodal wireless sensing platform. You can see the processor/RF card, tactile sensor interface, and six-axis IMU. b—Here is its application in a shoe to monitor gait characteristics. com Zurich on high-energy physics detectors, spacecraft control systems, and underwater sonar.

If there is a packet to transmit, tx_outgoing will be set and the code will begin to execute. The first thing that happens is that the receive signal strength indicator is read. This detects whether some sort of carrier is being received. If a carrier signal is present, the execution of this code stops, cycles around the main loop, and then returns to this same check. When this check shows that the channel is empty, execution continues with a random wait. This prevents all the devices waiting to transmit on the same channel from being in sync and colliding with each other.

With that sort of heavy money lined up, the technology is poised to take off. The widespread adoption of RFID will have effects beyond the RFID industry itself. People are already discussing RFID tags as the leaf nodes in an “Internet of things,” suggesting that RFID is also poised to generate a flood of data, driving the sale of routers, storage, and processing capacity in an effort to keep up. The Internet holds a growing body of RFID information. com). In general, RFID systems follow a simple model.

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