In wireless environments, transmission and reception costs dominate system power consumption, motivating research effort on new technologies capable of reducing the footprint of the radio, paving the way for the Internet of Things. The most important challenge is to reduce power consumption when receivers are idle, the so called idle-listening cost. One approach proposes switching off the main receiver, then introduces new wake-up circuitry capable of detecting an incoming transmission, discriminating the packet destination using addressing, then switching on the main radio only when required. This wake- up receiver (WuRx) technology represents the ultimate frontier in low power radio communication.
As a consequence of the extremely low power, such radios are incapable of decoding general data and thus are often delegated the task of listening for a trigger, leading to the terminology wake-up radio. While wake-up technology has been steadily evolving over the last decade in the hardware arena, few protocols have been developed to exploit it. Towards this end, we provide WaCo, a wake-up radio COOJA extension that allows exploration of the capabilities of the wake-up radio from the desktop environment. With our extended simulator, we have concretely shown the potential benefits of the wake-up radio hardware with two, standard data collection protocols. The results simultaneously confirm that wake-up technology has tremendous potential and that the simulator extension provides an effective mechanism for such exploration.
This nice infographic from IEEE shows the problem discussed above and how WuR can be used to overcome it.