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Ultra Low Energy (ULE)

Contributor(s): Tali Chen

Ultra Low Energy (ULE) is an extension of the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) physical layer specification that supports low power devices. ULE is being promoted by the ULE Alliance as a way to provide sensors, actuators and other smart devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) with two-way transmission capability over a dedicated frequency band of 1900MHz

ULE supports an advanced family of low-power system-on-chip (SoC) and modular chipset products that provide:

Outstanding range - ULE has over 600 meters of range outdoors, compared to less than 500 meters for Z-Wave and WiFi. Provides superior indoor coverage moving through walls, ceilings and floors when compared to ZigBee.

Robust and secure RF channels - all communication in ULE is encrypted with the Advanced Encryption Standard using AES-CCM. There is no un-encrypted mode and no option to switch off encryption as in legacy DECT or other technologies.

Star network topology - there’s no need for repeaters to extend range and reliability. All smart devices and appliances can run from one central hub.

Two-way voice and video support - ULE's high bitrate can support data, two-way voice and video.

While the use of internet-connected devices and voice controls is growing, they face reliability and security issues. Mass-adoption of IoT solutions requires a technology with a comprehensive communication range and an interference-free spectrum band that enables high reliability and good user experience. There is already a large install base of 50 million gateways deployed with DECT connectivity for telephony, so it makes sense for these gateways to become IoT hubs -- especially since it only requires a wireless software update. ULE's support of two-way voice corresponds with the market dynamics of voice user interface (VUI adoption, and is expected to further increase the adoption of ULE.

Operators, like Deutsche Telekom and Ooma are realizing the value of ULE technology and adopting it for their industrial and smart home features. Several major brands including Panasonic and VTech have selected the ULE standard, relying on ULE-enabled chipsets and modules to power their IoT products. The ULE Alliance, which DSP Group is a member and key promoter of, includes more than 100 members, and the ecosystem of device manufactures , platform providers, and ODMs that integrate ULE into their offerings and is continually growing.

This was last updated in April 2018

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