Archive for the ‘Low Power Products’ category

Ultralow Voltage Step-Up Converter for Energy Harvesting Applications

November 7, 2010

The LTC3108-1 is a DC-DC converter designed for energy harvesting applications. It is capable of managing surplus energy from extremely low input voltage sources (as low as 20mV) which is perfect for energy harvesting generators. For detailed information visit the Liner Technology LTC3108-1 product page.


Ultra Low Power Wi-Fi for Sensors and Embedded

September 28, 2009

GainSpan is a low power Wi-Fi semiconductor company providing Wi-Fi chips for battery-powered or energy-harvesting-based sensor applications. The products claim to be able to run sensor devices for up to 10 years on a single AA battery. I have never used one of these chips so I’m not sure about the performance or actual power consumption but GainSpan definitely has the right idea…..Smart Low Power Sensors.



Low Power MCU Comparision: nanoWatt XLP Vs. MSP430

September 9, 2009

This is a video of a test done by Microchip comparing their nanoWatt technology to the MSP430. This is a good demonstration of Microchips efforts to catch-up to Taxes Instrument’s low power experience.

Energy Harvesting Journal

June 30, 2009

I just wanted to share a link to the Energy Harvesting Journal. This is a great place that has some very interesting articles and a collection of great technology that focuses on energy harvesting.

“Energy Harvesting Journal provides you with a free daily update of the latest industry developments. Launched in February 2009, this free portal covers progress of energy harvesting and energy storage in all its forms.”

Please take a look, it’s worth it!!!!

Energy Harvesting Journal

Energy Harvesting Journal

Supercapacitors for Low Power Wireless Networks

May 28, 2009

Supercapacitors can be used to give you the extra power burst you need to support wireless sensor nodes operating from low power energy sources or energy harvesters. A low-power energy source such as a 3V watch battery or a solar, heat or vibration-energy-harvesting module can usually supply the average power required for a wireless system, but may not be able to provide the peak power to transmit data over wireless networks such as IEEE 802.15.4 (Zigbee), 802.11 (WLAN) or GSM/GPRS.

Zigbee transmission (peak power 10 – 100mA) will shorten a 3V button battery’s life, and require a larger battery than would be necessary to support the average load power. Even worse, a 3V battery cannot support a GSM or GPRS transmission (peak power 1 – 2A) at all without some additional source of power.

The CAP-XX BritePower solution resolves these issues with a single-cell, thin-form supercapacitor that stores energy generated at low power by the battery or from the environment, and then delivers it in high power bursts for data collection and transmission. The below paper outlines innovative power architectures, showing designers how to use a single-cell CAP-XX supercapacitor rated at 2.7V in conjunction with a 3V energy source, instead of a larger and costlier dual-cell supercapacitor rated at 3V or more. Using a single-cell supercapacitor also reduces the leakage current of the power solution, thereby increasing battery life and reducing energy losses from environmental harvesting modules.

The technical paper is available at


Ultra Low Power RF Transceiver

May 7, 2009

This is a part that was mentioned in one of the comments on my blog. This transceiver from Zarlink Semiconductor specifies very low power operation. Has anyone worked with it?


ZL70250 Evaluation Kit

Low Power RF transceiver for Zigbee and ISM

April 1, 2009

Atmel has released a new RF transceiver for low power wireless applications. The AT86RF212 800/900MHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio has a receive mode current consumption of 9mA and 17mA in transmit mode with a power output level of 5dBm. The sleep mode current consumption is down to 0.2µA. The AT86RF212 performs extremely well, initial field test showed about a 6km link without the use of any external LNA’s or PA’s. A wide range of data rates are supported. In addition, security is handled by an AES 128bit onboard hardware engine. Atmel has created some common firmware solutions making it easier and faster to develop new applications. Take a look at the datasheets for full specs: