Intel Corp on Monday highlighted the combined work of its research arm and university staff and students to develop a Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform (WISP) that supports sensing and computing.

The project combines Intel Research Seattle and significant input from students and faculty of the University of Washington.

A WISP is a standard RFID tag with the unique inclusion of a 16-bit general purpose microcontroller that supports sensing and computing,” Intel states.

The term 'I' from WISP - Identification comes from Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). WISPs have the capabilities of RFID tags but also support sensing and computing.

WISPs have been used to sense quantities such as light, temperature, acceleration, strain, liquid level, and to investigate embedded security.

Intel notes that WISPs have these features:

-Up to 10ft range with harvested RF power

-Ultra-low power MSP430 microcontroller

-32K of program space, 8K of storage

-Light, temperature and 3D-accelerometers

-Backscatter communication to reader

-Reader to WISP communication (ASK)

-Real-time clock

-Storage capacitor (to sense without reader)

-Voltage sensor (measures stored charge)

-Extensible hardware (to add new sensors)

-HW UART & GPIO for external connections

-Works with select EPC Class 1 Gen 2 readers

-WISP software to sense and upload data

-Reader application to drive WISP

-Industry standard development tools

-Access to hardware design and source code

While most of the work on WISP so far has involved single WISPs performing sensing or computing functions, the researchers are looking ahead to the next level of development.