To go along with its ultra low-power semiconductors, this week, Anagear also released the ANG101x development kit to help familiarize OEMs and designers with the products. The kit includes an evaluation board with a photovoltaic panel and full set of documentation, including a user manual and datasheets for the circuits.
Anagear's emergence supports a growing trend in power-management to offer new and better ways for low-power systems to manage their power and even harvest from other sources.
Texas Instruments recently introduced a low-power converter to offer battery-free power to wireless sensor networks, smoke detectors, wearable medical devices, and other small devices. The company claims the converter can increase the amount of harvested energy an end application can use as much as 70 percent.
Anagear, too, is targeting these type of devices with its circuits, according to Dhaeze:
Think about how smoke detectors always give this beep in the middle of the night when the battery runs out. If you can reduce that power consumption where you can run that from a solar panel, it becomes an install-and-forget kind of device. The same is true for a lot of other battery operated devices.
Other researchers are exploring other low-power and energy-harvesting options. A team at the University of Michigan's department of aerospace engineering recently developed technology that can harvest energy from the human heartbeat to power a pacemaker, a move that could eliminate the need for battery replacement over the life of the device.