Braidio: An Integrated Active-Passive Radio for Mobile Devices with Asymmetric Energy Budgets

The Braidio (a braid of radios) design is a radically new radio design that is capable of dynamic carrier offload i.e. the ability to dynamically switch the transmission carrier between the transmitter and receiver. The rationale for carrier offload is that the power consumption of communication is dominated by the cost of generating a carrier signal. Active radios generate the carrier at both the transmitter and receiver, therein the near-identical power consumption at both ends. Passive communication systems such as RFIDs generate the carrier solely at the reader end, hence they support highly asymmetric power consumption. Thus, if we were able to combine the architectural building blocks of both active and passive radios, we can design a radio that is capable of moving carrier generation between the two end points. This capability can, in turn, enable power-proportional wireless communication wherein two devices with different battery capacities can multiplex between the different carrier generation modes such that they consume power in proportion to their available energy.