Motivated by the enormous success of outdoor location tracking systems, significant attention has focused on wireless indoor positioning systems for many promising location-aware applications such as emergency
management, asset tracking, inventory management, home automation, health monitoring, and sensor networks. Various types of wireless indoor positioning systems have been developed mostly based on WLAN, Bluetooth or ZigBee networks.
Unfortunately the typical ranging accuracy of the WLAN and WPAN based systems (about 2-3 m in optimal conditions) is not enough for many projected indoor location-aware applications. To mitigate the limited ranging accuracy issue, a few proprietary ranging systems based on IR-UWB have been investigated. Although the IR-UWB based ranging systems have demonstrated better accuracy than WLAN and WPAN based systems, the universal compatibility issue, which is important for wide deployment and robust operation, has not been properly addressed. To overcome the problems of non-standardized approaches, a new low-rate WPAN standard, 802.15.4a, aiming <30cm indoor ranging accuracy has been launched. We will present an implementation example of an integrated transceiver (RF front-end + baseband) that is fully compatible with the standard. The implemented transceiver achieves <18cm ranging accuracy and -79dBm sensitivity, the best ever reported, demonstrating the feasibility of reliable and standardized indoor location tracking. The issues in the transceiver architecture design and the approaches for improving the ranging distance and accuracy will be discussed.