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Indian origin researcher’s team achieves WiFi at 10,000 times less power

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Washington: A team of US Engineers which included and Indian origin researcher demonstrated that it is possible to generate Wi-Fi transmissions using 10,000 less power than conventional methods. This is an attempt to save more energy while playing games and doing other things that eat more energy.

The new “Passive Wi-Fi” system also consumes 1,000 times less power than existing energy-efficient wireless communication platforms, such as Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee, said computer scientists and electrical engineers from the University of Washington.

“We wanted to see if we could achieve Wi-Fi transmissions using almost no power at all. That is basically what ‘Passive Wi-Fi’ delivers. We can get Wi-Fi for 10,000 times less power than the best thing that’s out there,” said study co-author Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering.

“Passive Wi-Fi” can for the first time transmit Wi-Fi signals at bit rates of up to 11 megabits per second that can be decoded on any of the billions of devices with Wi-Fi connectivity. These speeds are lower than the maximum Wi-Fi speeds but 11 times higher than Bluetooth. Apart from saving battery life, wireless communication that uses almost no power will help enable an “Internet of Things” reality where household devices and wearable sensors can communicate using Wi-Fi without worrying about power.

“All the networking, heavy-lifting, and power-consuming pieces are done by the one plugged-in device. The passive devices are only reflecting to generate the Wi-Fi packets, which is a really energy-efficient way to communicate,” explained co-author Vamsi Talla, an electrical engineering doctoral student. To achieve such low-power Wi-Fi transmissions, the team essentially decoupled the digital and analog operations involved in radio transmissions.

The Passive Wi-Fi architecture assigns the analog, power-intensive functions – like producing a signal at a specific frequency — to a single device in the network that is plugged into the wall. An array of sensors produces Wi-Fi packets of information using very little power by simply reflecting and absorbing that signal using a digital switch.

In real-world conditions on the university campus, the team found the passive Wi-Fi sensors and a smartphone can communicate even at distances of 100 feet between them. Because the sensors are creating actual Wi-Fi packets, they can communicate with any Wi-Fi enabled device right out of the box. “Our sensors can talk to any router, smartphone, tablet or other electronic device with a Wi-Fi chipset,” noted electrical engineering doctoral student Bryce Kellogg.

The technology can enable entirely new types of communication that haven’t been possible because energy demands have outstripped available power supplies. It could also simplify our data-intensive worlds. “Now that we can achieve Wi-Fi for tens of microwatts of power and can do much better than both Bluetooth and ZigBee, you could now imagine using Wi-Fi for everything,” said Joshua Smith, associate professor of computer science and engineering.

The technology has also been named one of the 10 breakthrough technologies of 2016 by the journal MIT Technology Review. A paper describing those results will be presented in March at the 13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation in California. (IANS)

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HP Unveils its Convertible ENVY x360 in India

The HP Pavilion Tower 590 is available at a starting price of Rs 22,990 (+GST)

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HP launches premium convertible ENVY x360 in India. Flickr

Expanding its premium portfolio, HP Inc. on Tuesday launched the HP ENVY x360 convertible powered by AMD Ryzen processor for the millennials in India.

HP ENVY x360 with AMD Ryzen R3 processor would be available from November at a starting price of Rs 60,990.

The variant with 256GB storage will cost Rs 74,990. The company is also offering a bundled HP Active Pen that works with Windows Ink.

“We have about 30 per cent share in the premium segment and this is growing much faster than the lower-priced segment. We’re expecting to increase our share and get rapid uptake from the customers,” Vickram Bedi, Senior Director, Personal Systems, HP Inc. India, told IANS here.

“At HP, we believe in insights-driven innovation that enables us to deliver the PC experiences that users want. The HP Envy x360 is a combination of sleek design, optimum performance and quality at an affordable cost,” he added.

The convertible features the all new HP Command Center which lets users optimise system performance, fan noise and temperature with its CoolSense technology.

The device supports Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds, to provide fast Internet connections for demanding streaming apps for movies, music and gaming.

HP
HP ENVY x360 with AMD Ryzen R3 processor would be available from November at a starting price of Rs 60,990.. (IANS)

The unique design of the laptop draws inspiration from hand-crafted pieces that feature the Damascus pattern — a high precision technique used in manufacturing specialty knives, known to be tough and durable, the company added.

AMD Ryzen processor gives performance up to 12.5 hours of battery life, charging from zero per cent battery life to 50 per cent on 45 minutes charge with HP Fast Charge technology, the company claimed.

The Corning Gorilla Glass NBT touchscreen gives highly intuitive reaction, with HP Active Pen for a seamless and natural work experience.

The device is available in Dark Ash Silver colour with an angular Damascus pattern, thin bezels and edge-to-edge backlit keyboard.

Also Read- Chandra Observatory By NASA Back in Action

Devices including the HP Pavilion 15 ultra-thin 15-inch laptop, HP Pavilion Tower 590 desktop and the HP 15 Notebook were also unveiled.

The HP Pavilion 15 laptop with AMD Ryzen R5 processor would be available in November at a starting price of Rs 62,990 while the one with AMD Ryzen R3 processor is available now at a starting price of Rs 36,990.

The HP Pavilion Tower 590 is available at a starting price of Rs 22,990 (+GST). (IANS)