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Launching the World’s Most Power Efficient GNSS System-On-Chip

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - QLX300 (Launching the World’s Most Power Efficient GNSS System-On-Chip)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2019-10-31

Today, almost 27 billion connected devices are connected globally within the IoT. By 2025, this will multiply to over 75 billion. Many applications rely on knowing the precise location: Whether it is railway transportation, consumer electronics, healthcare, agriculture, intelligent building, manufacturing and supply chain, retail and smart cities, tracking valuable assets on the move is a pain point for many large, distributed organizations involved in these sectors. These large organizations typically rely on partners such as distributors to register check-in and check-out events correctly. All these applications rely on Global Navigation Satellite Systems. GNSS receivers are very power-hungry and rather expensive. This is important for society because having ultra-low power consumption devices, and these having a lower cost and a smaller size, will open up significant market opportunities.
IoT generates an astronomical amount of data and therefore requires significant energy resources. The industry expects it will be better equipped to 1) reduce peak load on the grid; 2) design new energy-saving technologies; and 3) implement energy-saving programs to reduce consumption or shift load to off-peak times. But what these projections fail to include in their analyses is the mega energy footprint of the IoT itself. It is not at all clear that the IoT will ever succeed in offsetting its own fast-growing and unbounded energy consumption. With over 75 billion connected devices, energy consumption is enormous. In the theoretical case that QLX300 replaced all potential SoC’s, the energy needs can be cut by 90%.
The overall objective is to be amongst the top three GNSS receiver suppliers in the IoT market by 2024. With its patented Digital/Discrete-Time RF Technology, Qualinx will focus on the development of low-power, small size, low-cost transceivers for various radio standards.
We have performed a Feasibility Study and updated our Business Plan focusing on an analysis of the product, market, ambition, competition, business model and market strategy.
QLX300 already de-risked and objectives of SME phase @ is reached, Qualinx will continue this project to bring QLX300 to TRL 9 and make it ready for market.
This project has a great impact on the EU semiconductor eco-system. As part of this project:
• More than 20000 jobs will be created in a direct and indirect way;
• QLX300 will enable IoT tracking position for wearables, personal trackers, transportation, logistics and healthcare sensors.
• The Power consumption of IoT positioning sensors will be reduced by 10 times as it is proofed by the validation results of QLX300.
Qualinx marketing strategy is straight forward. Direct marketing will be used to contact the ODM’s and OEM’s of the targeted market segments. These efforts will focus on the CEO’s, R&D Managers, Purchasing and Product Management. The efforts will range from cold-calling to visit specific media events or tradeshows.
The Qualinx patented a type of DRF technology (discrete-time/digital RF), which allows to drastically reduce power consumption as well as significantly shorten the design time and improve the portability of RF IP. All designers claim to have a low energy solution, but the Qualinx solution is based on two unique innovations in the world that reduce the GNSS power consumption with a factor of almost 10.
1.) Qualinx has digitized the GNSS receiver by means of its patented DRF technology. At this moment, all receivers are relying on analog solutions. Qualinx has replaced most of the analog building blocks in the SoC with discrete-time/digital counterparts.
2.) QLX300 uses a novel Baseband, enabling parallel digital signal processing instead of current sequential processing. This novel technique reduces the power consumption of the Baseband and further improves the overall power consumption.
Qualinx uses Digital/Discrete-time RF (DRF) techniques and building blocks to avoid using complicated analog techniques, especially at deep nano-scale CMOS nodes. As a result, wireless receivers developed by Qualinx can fully operate at very low supply voltages (e.g. 0.4V) with incredibly low power consumption in contrast to industry standard (e.g. 3.6V).
Other advantages of DRF technology are the shorter design time since IP is scalable and portable from CMOS process node to another. It should be emphasized, DRF technology is a technology that can be used for all kinds of radio standards, like GSM, LTE, LG, Bluetooth, Wifi- Narrow-Band IoT, etc. Due to the fast time-to-market and excellent competitive advantage Qualinx selected the GNSS market as a first entry.
For Europe, the IoT represents the next step toward the digitization of the society and economy, where objects and people are interconnected through communication networks and report about their status and/or the surrounding environment. In fact, the European Commission estimates the market value of the IoT in the EU to exceed €1 trillion in 2020. The IoT merges physical and virtual worlds, creating smart environments. The European Commission actively cooperates with industry, organizations and academic institutions in order to unleash the potential of the IoT technology across EU Member States and beyond. The adoption of QLX300 can help Europe run its IoT sensors on a 10th of the power currently needed.