Collaboration Develops UWB Wearable Platform for Precision Distance Measurement Applications

November 12, 2020
Renesas and Altran Team to Deploy First Social Distancing Wristwatch

TOKYO, Japan and NEW YORK, USA ― Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Altran, the global leader in engineering and R&D services, and part of the Capgemini Group, today announced that they have co-developed a wearable solution for social distancing based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. Earlier this year, Renesas announced it had licensed UWB technology from 3db Access AG, a fabless semiconductor company specializing in secure UWB low power chips to augment Renesas microcontrollers (MCUs).

The platform’s form factor, a wristwatch, combines the Renesas Synergy™ S128 MCU featuring HMI capacitive touch with licensed secure ranging UWB technology. Unlike other social distancing wearables based on technologies such as Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE), Renesas’ UWB chipset with Low Rate Pulse (LRP) can operate on 10X lower power consumption than competing UWB chips and measure distances with an accuracy of 10cm or less – the precision necessary for social distancing applications. The wristwatch’s safe distance is user-configurable; the wearer is alerted by LEDs and haptic feedback when a second device is detected within this range. Renesas will begin sampling the UWB chipset during the second half of 2021.

As co-developer and system integrator, Altran will leverage the UWB-based platform along with other internal assets to develop additional wearable solutions for social distancing as well as related location-based applications for clients across a broad range of markets. The social distancing wristwatch will be showcased in Altran’s innovation lab.

“After months of global pandemic shutdowns, people will want to feel safe when they return to work, school and social settings in close proximity to others. I’m pleased our collaboration with Altran is about responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with the first LRP UWB social distance wristwatch solution,” said Roger Wendelken, Senior Vice President, Head of MCU Business, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas. “Renesas plans to expand to more use cases in the future such as access control, asset tracking and geofencing.”

“This has been a unique and rewarding project, collaborating with Renesas to bring the first LRP UWB-based social distancing wristwatch to market,” said Scott Houghton, President of Altran’s Semiconductor & Electronics, Industrial & Consumer business. “We’re excited to introduce this platform to other markets; its form factor, power efficiency and accuracy make it an excellent fit – in both COVID and non-COVID applications– across our vertical industries.”

About Altran

Altran is the world leader in engineering and R&D services. Altran offers its clients a unique value proposition to meet their transformation and innovation challenges. Altran supports its clients, from concept through industrialization, to develop the products and services of tomorrow and has been working for more than 35 years with major players in many sectors: Automotive, Aeronautics, Space, Defense & Naval, Rail, Infrastructure & Transport, Energy, Industrial & Consumer, Life Sciences, Communications, Semiconductor & Electronics, Software & Internet, Finance & Public Sector. Altran has more than 50,000 employees operating in over 30 countries.

Altran is an integral part of Capgemini, global leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology, and engineering services. The Group is at the forefront of innovation to address the entire breadth of clients’ opportunities in the evolving world of cloud, digital and platforms. Building on its strong 50-year heritage and deep industry-specific expertise, Capgemini enables organizations to realize their business ambitions through an array of services from strategy to operations. A responsible and multicultural company of 265,000 people in nearly 50 countries, Capgemini’s purpose is to unleash human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. With Altran, the Group reported 2019 combined global revenues of €17 billion.

Visit us at altran.com.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, infrastructure, and IoT applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

(Remarks) Renesas Synergy is a trademark of Renesas Electronics Corporation. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. of the United States. All names of products or services mentioned in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


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