MKSemi
0122 Mw Mk Semi Mk8000 So C Promo

Ultra-Wideband SoC Sports High Integration, Low Power Use

Jan. 7, 2022
MKSemi’s flagship product is poised to smooth UWB’s path into broad deployment in consumer and industrial IoT applications. A partnership with Infineon and ThinkSeed Systems serves as a launchpad.

Check out our CES 2022 coverage.

The Overview

At this week’s CES 2022, Mauna Kea Semiconductor (MKSemi) rolled out its MK8000 SoC, a low-power and highly integrated means of endowing IoT devices with ultra-wideband (UWB) functionality.

Who Needs It & Why?

According to ABI Research, despite UWB being early in its ecosystem development, it is fast becoming a major short-range wireless technology. UWB-enabled devices are forecasted to reach more than 1.3 billion shipments by 2026, growing from 143 million in 2020. The MK8000 SoC enables OEMs and ODMs to rapidly design, integrate, and deploy complete location and direction-finding solutions. It has the potential to bolster consumer and industrial IoT applications such as smart homes/cities, automotive, wearables, and health-monitoring devices.

Under the Hood

MKSemi’s MK8000 UWB SoC, with its high level of integration and computing power, allows customers to implement UWB ranging products with only a handful of external components, ensuring the smallest possible footprint and lowest power consumption. MKSemi’s low power UWB technology significantly extends the battery life of electronics and enables even the smallest wireless devices to have high precision ranging and location capability.

Features and benefits of the MK8000 (shown above on a demo board) include:

  • Ultra-low power consumption: At 43 mA @ 3V in receive mode, the SoC is 2X better in power consumption than anything else on the market, MKSemi claims.
  • Widest frequency band: The device supports UWB bands 1 and 2 (3.1 GHz ~ 9 GHz), giving it worldwide UWB coverage and making possible more applications and future proofing next-generation applications.
  • Highest level of integration: With four receive channels and one transmit channel, the MK8000 lowers BOM cost and helps speed deployments. It also integrates Angle-of-Arrival (AoA) software for 3D location, whereas competitive devices require external software.
  • Intelligent signal processor: The MK8000 includes an Arm Cortex M0 MCU that improves computation efficiency by 10X and significantly reduces power consumption.

Additionally, MK Semi has announced a partnership with Infineon Technologies and industrial and automotive system integrator ThinkSeed Systems to enable secure ranging and location in IoT applications. By joining forces, the three companies will help accelerate the development of secure ranging and locations solutions for IoT applications.

MKSemi and Infineon Technologies will jointly develop a system design that incorporates the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) MCU from Infineon Technologies with the MK8000 SoC. ThinkSeed Systems will take the combined design to add application software and qualify it for industrial and automotive markets. Because Bluetooth LE and UWB coexist and complement each other, using the two technologies creates an enhanced solution for spatial awareness.

The newly launched MK8000 SoC is now available to partners and customers.

Check out our CES 2022 coverage.

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