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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

Apple Updates its Video Creation App With Animoji and Memoji Support

Clips 2.1 is available as a free update on the App Store and is compatible with iPhone 6s and iPhone SE or later, iPad Air 2 or later and iPod touch (7th generation)

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Apple
The Clips app by Appe is a video editing app that lets users combine video clips, images, and photos with voice-based titles, stickers, music and more to create unique videos that can be shared on social media platforms. Pixabay

Free video creation app of Apple named “Clips” has been updated for the iPhone and the iPad with new Animoji and Memoji support.

This update includes animated stickers and emoji that can “follow the movements of a user’s face” in videos captured with device front-facing cameras.

“Users can now easily share personal video messages, slideshows, school projects and mini movies with more personality than ever. Animated stickers and emoji can now follow the movements of a user’s face for fun selfie videos using the front-facing camera on iPhone and iPad,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The new update also introduces new stickers featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, along with a new winter-themed poster. Using Animoji and Memoji in Clips requires a device with a TrueDepth camera.

Apple
Free video creation app of Apple named “Clips” has been updated for the iPhone and the iPad with new Animoji and Memoji support. Pixabay

The Clips app is a video editing app that lets users combine video clips, images, and photos with voice-based titles, stickers, music and more to create unique videos that can be shared on social media platforms.

Clips 2.1 is available as a free update on the App Store and is compatible with iPhone 6s and iPhone SE or later, iPad Air 2 or later and iPod touch (7th generation), running iOS 13 or later and iPadOS 13 or later.

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New Animoji and Memoji features, along with the Selfie Scenes feature, require iPhone or iPad Pro with TrueDepth camera. (IANS)