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Affordable IoT Devices can be Developed by Smart Microchips

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IoT devices will become affordable with the help of Microchips.
Microchips, Wikimedia Commons

A group of engineers has developed a smart microchip that can self-start and continue to operate even when the battery runs out of energy. This could help in manufacturing smaller and cheaper Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Called BATLESS, the smart microchip was developed by engineers from the National University of Singapore and is designed with a novel power management technique that allows it to self-start and continue to function under dim light without any battery assistance, using a very small on-chip solar cell.

Its functioning was presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2018 conference in San Francisco.

“We have demonstrated that batteries used for IoT devices can be shrunk substantially as they do not always need to be available to maintain continuous operation,” research leader Massimo Alioto said.

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“Tackling this fundamental problem is a major advancement towards the ultimate vision of IoT sensor nodes without the use of batteries and will pave the way for a world with a trillion IoT devices,” Alioto added.

Currently, batteries in IoT devices are much larger and up to three times more expensive than the single chip they power.

A group of engineers has developed a smart microchip that can self-start and continue to operate even when the battery runs out of energy.
National University of Singapore, Wikimedia Commons

This research substantially reduces the size of batteries required to power IoT sensor nodes, making them 10 times smaller and cheaper to produce.

“BATLESS is the first example of a new class of chips that are indifferent to battery charge availability. In minimum-power mode, it uses 1,000 to 100,000 times less power, compared to the best existing microcontrollers designed for fixed minimum-energy operation,” Alioto added.

“At the same time, our 16-bit microcontroller can also operate 100,000 times faster than others that have been recently designed for fixed minimum power operation,” Alioto noted.

The research team aims to demonstrate a solution that shrinks the battery to millimetres with the long-term goal of completely eliminating the need for it. (IANS)

Next Story

Xiaomi Show Off its First 64MP Smartphone Imaging Technology

Powered by Samsung's GW1 64MP sensor, the 64MP smartphone technology will first come with a Redmi smartphone in India in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019

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Xiaomi, Smartphone, Technology
The technology was showcased in the presence of Bin Lin, President and Co-founder of Xiaomi and Jesuk Lee, Vice President, Head of Sensor Design for Samsung Electronics. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Wednesday showed off its first 64MP smartphone imaging technology at a global event here, thus making it the first handset player to exhibit the technology.

The technology was showcased in the presence of Bin Lin, President and Co-founder of Xiaomi and Jesuk Lee, Vice President, Head of Sensor Design for Samsung Electronics.

Powered by Samsung’s GW1 64MP sensor, the 64MP smartphone technology will first come with a Redmi smartphone in India in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019.

“The GW1 features smart ISO supported by Dual Conversion Gain (DCG) technology which intelligently adjusts the ISO sensitivity based on ambient light intensity.

Xiaomi, Smartphone, Technology
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Wednesday showed off its first 64MP smartphone imaging technology at a global event here, thus making it the first handset player to exhibit the technology. Wikimedia Commons

“It uses low ISO in high-brightness environments, and high ISO in dark-light environments to achieve the best signal-to-noise ratio for the entire scene,” the company said in a statement.

According to the company, the GW1 sensor uses ISOCELL Plus technology to create a pixel-to-pixel barrier to reduce light interference between pixels and consequently improve colour reproduction.

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The GW1 outputs 64MP photos with a resolution of 9248×6936 pixels and comes with support for real-time hardware-supported high dynamic range (HDR) of up to 100-decibels (dB) that provides richer hues. (IANS)