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Cypress unveils energy harvesting PMICs for IoT apps

20 Aug 2015

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Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has introduced a line-up of energy harvesting power management integrated circuits (PMICs) that allow tiny, solar-powered wireless sensors for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. According to the company, the S6AE101A devices can be used with solar cells as small as 1cm2.


The PMIC devices are fully integrated, making them ideal for batteryless wireless sensor nodes (WSNs) that monitor physical and environmental conditions for smart homes, commercial buildings, factories, infrastructure and agriculture, noted the company. Cypress offers a complete, battery-free energy harvesting solution that pairs the S6AE101A PMIC, the first device in the new family, with the EZ-BLE PRoC module for Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, along with supporting software, in a $49 kit.

The placement of a WSN may limit its size and the amount of light available, thereby limiting the size and power output of the solar module and the startup power available for the energy harvesting PMIC. The Cypress energy harvesting PMIC devices address these challenges with startup power of 1.2μW, 4x lower than the nearest competitor, and consumption current as low as 250nA, maximising the power available for the sensing, processing and communications functions of a target application, detailed the company. The fully-certified, small-form-factor EZ-BLE PRoC module, which is based on Cypress' PRoC BLE Programmable Radio-on-Chip solution, works with the PMIC devices to contribute to the low power and ease-of-use of an energy harvesting system solution.

The Cypress S6AE101A energy harvesting PMIC is sampling with production expected in 4Q15. Cypress offers the $49 solar-powered IoT device kit that contains a baseboard with a solar module and a Bluetooth Low Energy-USB bridge. Cypress PMICs are supported by the comprehensive Easy DesignSim, a free, web-based simulation tool for Cypress' PMIC solutions used to validate energy harvesting system (EHS) designs, including the bill-of-materials (BOM), schematic and the power consumed (μW) by the sensing, processing and communications functions of a target application.

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