WICS Group

Ultra Low Power Radio Survey

The following ULP radio survey is a database of radio performance published at top IC conferences and journals.

This information may be reproduced in publications, however please use the following reference:

David D. Wentzloff, “Low Power Radio Survey,” [Online]. www.eecs.umich.edu/wics/low_power_radio_survey.html

Link to Spreadsheet

The internet of things is projected to include 1T connected devices by 2025. That is a stagering number by 2015 standards, and dwarfs the current semiconductor market.  A key component to enabling this vision is ultra low power radios, seeing wireless connectivity as the primary means of communication, and this currently being the thorn in the side of low power IoT devices. This survey represents the state of the art for ultra low power radios, and will be continuously updated with new results as they become available.  This survey includes reported results from all of the major IEEE conferences, as well as commercial radios with publically available specifications.

The plot below shows power consumption vs. sensitivity of low power receivers, and indicates a clear boundary and trade off between these two specifications. A trend line with a slope of -1 decade / 20 dBm is clearly evident, meaning that for every 20dB improvement in sensitivity, there is a 10x increase in power consumption.  Interestingly, assuming free-space path loss with a 1/d^2 dependency, this amounts to a direct 1:1 trade off between power and wireless range.  For every factor increase in power, wireless range is increased by that same factor.


Nathan Roberts, Claire Nulty
Partial funding support from PsiKick, Inc. (www.psikick.com)

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