Imec presents the first mm-scale wireless transceiver for smart insertable pills. It is a first breakthrough in imec’s aspiration to realize autonomous ingestible sensors that can measure health parameters such as gut health and transmit in real time the data outside the body.
One of the challenges in realizing electronic pills is developing a wireless link that meets the volume, power and performance constraints for reliable data transmission during the period of time that the sensor is collecting data inside the body. Imec’s new wireless transceiver supports the medical 400MHz frequency bands such as MICS (Medical Implant Communication Service), MEDS (Medical Data Service) or MedRadio (Medical Device Radiocommunications Service). The wireless transceiver is implemented in 40nm CMOS and includes on-chip tunable matching network (TMN) that enables a miniature 400MHz antenna, and as such avoids external and bulky matching components. The whole transceiver module including antenna occupies a volume of <55mm3 which is up to 30 times smaller than state-of-the-art devices. The whole wireless module occupies an area of 3.5 by 15mm2, including a 3.5 by 3.8mm2 PCB and a miniature 400MHz antenna. The small form factor is realized thanks to a new crystal-free transceiver architecture, alleviating the need for an off-chip crystal device, and a 2mm2 transceiver IC with the on-chip TMN. Small area is further achieved by a TX/RX shared matching network with only one on-chip inductor and a single-branch phase tracking RX.
More information at www.imec-int.com