IoT Device Designers Are Accelerating The Development Of Affordable Micro-Power Management

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A demonstration platform has been announced by Trameto, a producer of power management semiconductors for energy harvesting (EH PMICs). Engineers can easily assess how micro-energy harvesting can decrease or completely replace the need for batteries in IoT devices, such as sensors and any wireless modules to which they may be attached, using the platform. It utilises a TM2040 engineering sample and is based on Trameto’s OptiJoule technology. A clever EH PMIC from the product family with four inputs.

With no additional interface components required, up to four harvesters of the same or different types can be linked to any of its inputs, reducing the need for batteries in wireless IoT applications. Two photovoltaic harvesters, a piezoelectric harvester with a DC motor to create vibration for it, two thermoelectric generators, a heater, and heatsinks to provide a stimulus for the thermoelectric generators are all included in the demonstration platform.

Every harvester generates between microjoules and millijoules of energy and uses plugin daughterboards to connect to the main platform. The TM2040 is unique in that each of its inputs will automatically adjust to the type of harvester that is attached to it. The chip then employs unique circuits to optimise each harvester’s output while dynamically combining the maximum amount of energy from all the connected harvesters. An energy-storage component is controlledly charged by the optimised output, which switches automatically to power an IoT device with a 1.8VDC, regulated supply at up to 15mA via the EH PMIC. The demonstration platform includes a Windows programme that uses a straightforward graphical user interface to show harvested power and TM2040 status data from the unit.

Huw Davies, CEO of Trameto, commented: “Energy harvesting can only be economically realised for IoT applications if every available source of energy can be exploited. The TM2040 OptiJoule EH PMIC is the only power management device able to do this economically, replacing up to four traditional PMICs and eliminating the cost and complexity of the interface components that are often needed for some energy harvesters. This demonstration platform provides the easiest way for engineers to explore the opportunities to power their devices using a range of energy harvesting technologies.”