Decawave’s 4z Chip Breakthrough Could be the Next Big Thing in Security (Silicon Republic)

Irish chipmaker has its eyes on the future of consumer commerce in a world of connected devices, from cars to clothes.

Fast-growing Irish electronics player Decawave has revealed its next generation of ultra-wideband (UWB) semiconductor chips, which will set the standard for the future of mobile security.

Last year we reported that Decawave raised $30m in investment, enabling it to announce 100 new jobs with plans to bring to 150 the total number of employees at the company’s operations in Ireland, France, China and South Korea.

Dublin-based Decawave makes UWB wireless technology, which provides precise location and connectivity for applications to identify the specific location of any object, person or place within centimetres.

Enabling the future of consumer security

But now, the technology is also enabling more secure mobile transactions for consumers in devices that range from smartphones to cars, wearables and even internet of things (IoT) devices in the home.

It is said the new chipsets will be the world’s first to support the new IEEE 802.15.4z (4z) standard, currently in the final stages of development. Key among the applications enabled by the secure ranging technology in the 4z standard are highly secure mobile financial and access transactions, and the ability to use precise location to combat malicious attacks that enable the hacking of wireless payments and the theft of modern vehicles.

“Today’s mobile devices do an amazing job of combining multiple capabilities into a single device,” said Ciaran Connell, CEO and co-founder at Decawave.

“However, as they increasingly act as the central hub for our lives, it is clear the next generation will need dramatically better security around digital wireless transactions to combat increasingly sophisticated attackers. Our new 4z-based chips enable a step change in security for home and auto access, financial transactions, and many other uses across smart cities using smartphones, wearables and other connected devices.”

Based on a new platform, the chipsets will offer up to six times the amount of power consumption reduction over the current technology and will support the 8GHz band (channel 9), enabling worldwide operation.

“Thanks to our strong position in standards and early investment in R&D, Decawave customers will be first to get access to the capabilities included in the new 4z standard as we will be able to quickly roll out different variants of the new chipsets, starting in 2019.”

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