Samsung Reveals Exynos Connect Brand With First Ultra-Wideband Chipset

Pinpointing a Samsung user's exact location is about to get a lot easier, as the company unveils its first ultra-wideband chipset that will be making its way into mobile and vehicular devices sometime in the near future. The new chipset, which has been named the Exynos Connect U100, is capable of staggering accuracy and can determine a device's location within a few inches.

In a statement, Joonsuk Kim, Executive Vice President of the Connectivity Development Team at Samsung Electronics, talked about the possibilities Exynos Connect U100 will bring, saying: "Our Exynos Connect U100 combines sophisticated ranging and positioning capabilities with strong security to enable hyper-connectivity between people and everyday objects, fueling a range of new applications in positioning and location tracking."

The way the chipset is configured makes it particularly adept at tracking objects that are indoors, under a cover, or in other locations that regular GPS tends to struggle with. This ability also opens up new possibilities, particularly in the world of AR and VR. Samsung has dabbled in both before and recently revealed it is partnering with Qualcomm and Google to develop a new AR device. That device might end up going head-to-head with Apple's highly anticipated AR headset, and the Exynos Connect U100 could be one of the things that give it an edge.

The new chipset does more than just track devices accurately

The capabilities of Samsung's Exynos Connect U100 chipset go beyond location tracking. It is also compliant with Car Connectivity Consortium's Digital Key Release 3.0 standard. This means if the chip is used in your phone — and your car is also on the standard — the handset will be able to communicate a security key to your vehicle to unlock it.

As the chipset uses ultra-wideband technology, it can transfer data over a short distance without using a lot of power. It's ideal for things like contactless payments. That's not the only power-saving feature built into it, either. The U100 has a "power-saving mode" designed to draw out the battery life of the devices it is used in as much as possible. 

In terms of security features, the U100 boasts a "scrambled timestamp sequence function" which pairs with its hardware encryption engine to deter hacking attempts. Samsung says its ultra-wideband hardware, as well as other short-range wireless tech like Bluetooth, will fall under its new Exynos Connect brand going forward. Of course, it's also hard to ignore the fact that Samsung's U100 name for its chipset is very similar to that of Apple's own ultra-wideband chip, the U1.