A near-zero power RF (Radio Frequency) receiver capable of detecting wake-up signatures transmitted from a source of interest. A proposed RF receiver will be able to discriminate against the signature of interest in the presence of a noisy RF background. The proposed architecture is based on a high-Q MEMS voltage transformer, a high-Q MEMS resonant switch tuned to the modulation frequency of the RF signature, and a threshold detector. 
Technology Overview
In the proposed architecture, a very low power amplitude-modulated incoming RF (Radio Frequency) signal is amplified to close a contact that produces the desired wake–up bit. The amplitude modulated incoming RF signal is amplified by a high Q piezoelectric/mechanical voltage transformer. Frequency is shifted in a voltage squared capacitor electrostatic forcer, and the amplified signal drives a resonating contact switch. The switch allows the battery to generate the 1 V, 1 ms wake-up bit. Different RF signature waveforms can be used to trigger the proposed zero-power RF receiver, depending on the number building blocks (voltage transformers, resonant switches, and threshold switches) employed and their interconnections.
- Radio wake-up circuits have been designed in both passive (zero-power) and active low power mechanizations
- Active low power approaches are commercially available and continue to be optimized for sensitivity versus power consumption
- Area denial and perimeter intrusion protection 
- Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) sensing; e.g. centrifuges, chem/bioagents 
- Tunnel & buried facility detection 
- Safety monitoring 
- In IoT devices, it reduces size and power by 100X, which is normally required as a standard to maintain a network of sensors
- Reduced standby power would enable optical or RF energy scavenging in different applications, indefinitely extending the lifetime 
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Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Matteo Rinaldi
Amy Duwel
Jonathan Bernstein
Nicol (nick) Mcgruer
Marc Weinberg
Robert Egri
Cristian Cassella