On the energy consumption and ranging accuracy of ultra-wideband physical interfaces

Laura Flueratoru, Silvan Wehrli, Michele Magno, Dragos Niculescu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Ultra-wideband (UWB) communication is attracting increased interest for its high-accuracy distance measurements. However, the typical current consumption of tens to hundreds of mA during transmission and reception might make the technology prohibitive to battery-powered devices in the Internet of Things. The IEEE 802.15.4 standard specifies two UWB physical layer interfaces (PHYs), with low- and high-rate pulse repetition (LRP and HRP, respectively). While the LRP PHY allows a more energy-efficient implementation of the UWB transceiver than its HRP counterpart, the question is whether some ranging quality is lost in exchange. We evaluate the trade-off between power and energy consumption, on the one hand, and distance measurement accuracy and precision, on the other hand, using UWB devices developed by Decawave (HRP) and 3db Access (LRP). We find that the distance measurement errors of 3db Access devices have at most 12 cm higher bias and standard deviation in line-of-sight propagation and 2-3 times higher spread in non-line-of-sight scenarios than those of Decawave devices. However, 3db Access chips consume 10 times less power and 125 times less energy per distance measurement than Decawave ones. Since the LRP PHY has an ultra-low energy consumption, it should be preferred over the HRP PHY when energy efficiency is critical, with a small penalty in the ranging performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2020 - Proceedings
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728182988
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventIEEE Global Communications Conference - Virtual, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 7 Dec 202011 Dec 2020

Publication series

Name2020 IEEE Global Communications Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2576-6813


ConferenceIEEE Global Communications Conference
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China
CityVirtual, Taipei


  • Accuracy
  • Distance Measurement
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Ultra-Wideband (UWB)

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Instrumentation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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