Qualcomm shells out more details on Peanut wireless technology

Low-power technology may be ready for commercial use in a year

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Qualcomm is developing a short-range radio technology called Peanut that would require less battery power than Zigbee , Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband technologies.

Matt Grob, senior vice president of research and development at Qualcomm, said Peanut could be used for radio communications over what is called the Body Area Network, which ranges from a few inches to a few feet. It also could cover the length of a room.

"It would require fractions of a milliwatt of power but move data at high speed," Grob told an audience at the EmTech@MIT 2010 conference Wednesday. He described Peanut as being able to power applications for data, voice and audio at a few megabits per second, and possibly video.

Peanut technology has been under development at Qualcomm for four years, Grob said in an interview, and should be ready for commercial deployment in about a year.

Grob said Peanut could be used in a variety of ways, such as in devices for reducing driver distractions. It could be part of the wireless network surrounding a driver, but not the passengers, to prevent the driver from engaging in wireless texting or talking, he said.

The chief benefit of Peanut would be lower power consumption than other short-range radio specifications such as Zigbee and Bluetooth, which are used in many applications, ranging from manufacturing and monitoring devices that talk wirelessly to one another, to phone headsets and car stereos connected to phones.

Qualcomm is working on a wide range of projects, Grob said, but the largest single area of its research budget is committed to 4G wireless communications, including LTE Advanced.

One unusual area of research involves the Mirasol display technology that Qualcomm developed for e-readers and other devices. Grob showed a prototype using Mirasol in color running video on a 5-inch display that Grob said could be used in products soon. Some products running the technology in black and white are appearing on the market, although he didn't elaborate. Mirasol basically uses tiny mirrors to reflect ambient light for use on the display and cannot be used in the dark unless some kind of exterior light is provided, Grob explained.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags LAN/WANtelecommunicationMobile and WirelessNetworkingwirelessLANqualcommmobilewireless networking

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?