TI Offers Low-Power Converter to Advance Design of Energy-Harvesting Electronics
A graphic displays how Texas Instruments' new ultra-low-power converter harvests energy to help designers create more efficient electronics. The TPS62736 DC/DC step-down converter can be used to create battery-free applications such as wireless sensor networks, monitoring systems, smoke detectors, wearable medical devices, and mobile accessories. (Source: Texas Instruments)
You might want to add another 20 years to your comment. Twenty years ago was 1993, there were many portable devices, even cell phones. When the industry dropped the required voltage from 5V to 3.3V, it is a huge help. Chips are getting even lower these days. Buck/boost circuits are getting efficient unseen in the past. Getting a higher potential from 3.3V is not an issue.
Interesting insight from Nirajan Pathare of TI in this story when he refers to low-power design as a "space race." I agree. Being able to operate everyday devices on lower current is one of the next great frontiers in electronics. Twenty years ago, no one foresaw the rise in handheld computing that's available today, largely because no one imagined that computers could operate at such low power levels. The trend toward low power design is still gaining momentum.
Alternative energy generators for the medical industry are all still in the prototype phase. As you can imagine, there are numerous certifications and near-endless testing to be done. Imagine if the generator stops for some reason.
I hope to see more work like this, as I may need it someday...
I really like the idea of harvesting energy from the human heart to keep a pacemaker going. Seems the best example of energy harvesting that I've ever heard of. Changing a pacemaker battery is considered minor surgery, but most pacemaker-users would prefer to find a better method, if possible.
Thanks for the head's up. I have a alternative energy project coming up, not I have a DC controller in mind. I will have to investigate what else they are offering in their alternative energy initiative. I hope they have some system on a chip type products. IE: solar panel to battery hook up. No development on my part. One can dream.
This is great technology and another step forward to more effective portable solutions. It will also be interesting to see the impact on automation and control technologies such as wireless sensor solutions that can really benefit from this kind of technology. This is just another step in the right direction in terms of new capabilities available for device designs.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team £100 to make (about $161 US).
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.