An ultra-wideband (UWB) receiver is a short range wireless communications technology currently gaining popularity for use with personal area networking (PAN) applications such as wireless monitors, camcorders, and other high bandwidth devices.  UWB utilizes a very large frequency range in order to drastically increase the available bandwidth without interfering with existing traditional communications devices, even those on the same frequency.  As in most wireless communications systems the challenge to reduce background noise and channel interference between multiple users is pivotal to improving robustness, speed, and bandwidth of these systems.

There are a number of ways this noise can be reduced when detecting time-hopping ultra-wide bandwidth signals in multiple access interference (MAI) channels.  Conventionally a matched filter UWB receiver has been used in these situations, and more recently a soft-limiting UWB receiver has been proposed.

At the University of Alberta, researchers have developed a novel UWB receiver called the “zonal” receiver that uses only the most significant zones of output to determine the received bit value.  This zoning discards areas of the output where the signals received are indistinguishable even though different bits may have been sent (1 and 0).  In time-hopping UWB MAI environments this zonal receiver outperforms the conventional and soft-limiting receivers.  In environments containing MAI and background noise the zonal receiver still outperforms conventional receivers and shows highly reduced bit rate error over the soft limiting receiver when the signal-to-noise ratio is high.


    • Outperforms conventional time-hopping UWB receiver with MAI.
    • Matches or outperforms newly proposed soft-limiting UWB receiver.
    • Reduced error rate and higher robustness in these environments which leads to
    • Higher transfer speed and
    • Greater bandwidth.

Potential Markets

This invention will be of interest to companies that design and manufacture wireless communication systems.  The IEEE 802.15.3a PAN standard uses UWB and is therefore highly applicable.  The UWB technology provides wireless communications with the bandwidth necessary to finally replace wires and cabling in commercial, industrial, educational and residential applications.  Specifically in local and personal area networks it will wirelessly connect monitors, cameras, cell phones, computers, mp3 players, PDAs, and many other devices.

Protection Status

Patent issued

Product Number


Contact Information

Mandira Das
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-9123