Spintronics for novel wake-up receivers in wireless sensor networks

Published : 13 December 2016

Wireless sensor networks WSN are about to change our everyday life in the aim to improve amongst others its quality, safety, and energy consumption. This is pushing R&D efforts to develop scalable, energy efficient and autonomous WSN nodes that monitor or control some physical parameter (e.g temperature, pollution). The most energy consuming part of a WSN node is the radio link and novel approaches are searched for. One approach is the wake-up receiver, that powers up the energy consuming radio links only when addressed. Wake-up Receivers WuR themselves should be ultra-low cost and immune to parasitic signals. Here spintronics components can provide robust and simple solutions. Recent studies on spintronic devices have demonstrated their rf-to-DC conversion capabilities by which they can act as passive frequency selective demodulators with high sensitivity to low input power.

The thesis aims to demonstrate such a spintronic based Wake-up Receiver in the frequency range of 0.1-1GHz and includes the following tasks:

– optimization of the spintronic device characteristics (output signal, signal to noise ratio, bandwidth, response time) through improved magnetic stack design

– development of electrical models of the spintronic device

– conceiving an architecture for the wake-up receiver

– development and test of the WuR with the spintronic device.

This is a multidisciplinary subject building on the expertise of two CEA research laboratories: INAC/SPINTEC on the microwave properties of spintronic devices and LETI/DACLE on conception of active WSNs. It will be in collaboration with CNRS/Thales (spintronic laboratory), who are partners in a joint ANR project that has been submitted on this subject in Octobre 2016.

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