Tuesday December 10, 2019
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This Chip Can Reduce The Need To Replace Batteries In Devices

This new power-saving chip wakes up your device only when it needs to

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New power-saving chip can significantly reduce or eliminate the need to replace batteries in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wearables. Pixabay

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a new power-saving chip that could significantly reduce or eliminate the need to replace batteries in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wearables.

The so-called “wake-up receiver” wakes up a device only when it needs to communicate and perform its function. It allows the device to stay dormant the rest of the time and reduce power use.

The technology is useful for applications that do not always need to be transmitting data, like IoT devices that let consumers instantly order household items they are about to run out of, or wearable health monitors that take readings a handful of times a day.

“The problem now is that these devices do not know exactly when to synchronize with the network, so they periodically wake up to do this even when there’s nothing to communicate. This ends up costing a lot of power,” said Patrick Mercier, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego.

“By adding a wake-up receiver, we could improve the battery life of small IoT devices from months to years,” he said in a paper published in the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits.

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The chip is useful for applications that do not always need to be transmitting data. Pixabay

The wake-up receiver is an ultra-low power chip that continuously looks out for a specific radio signal, called a wake-up signature, that tells it when to wake up the main device.

It needs a small amount of power to stay on and do this — 22.3 nanowatts in this case, about half a millionth the power it takes to run an LED night light.

This wake-up receiver can also do something else that other nanowatt-powered receivers cannot: perform well over a wide temperature range.

There is a small tradeoff in latency.

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There is a 540-millisecond delay between when the receiver detects the wake-up signature and when it wakes up the device.

But for the intended applications, researchers note that this amount of delay is not a problem. (IANS)

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Some Smart TVs Will No Longer be Able to Stream Netflix

Netflix will stop working on some smart TVs from Dec 1

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Streaming of Netflix on some smart TVs will stop from December 1. Wikimedia Commons

Some Samsung smart TVs and Roku streaming devices will no longer be able to stream Netflix from December 1.

“We have notified all impacted members with more information about alternative devices we support so they can keep enjoying Netflix uninterrupted,” the company said in a statement recently.

Users won’t be able to stream the service on old Roku sticks — 2050X, 2100X, 2000C, HD Player, SD Player, XR Player and XD Player.

The company claims that it’s down to ‘technical limitations’ and has said that only a small number of people will be affected – and they have already been notified, ladbible.com reported.

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Users won’t be able to stream Netflix on some Samsung smart TVs. Pixabay

“This change will impact select 2010 and 2011 Samsung Smart TV models that were sold in the U.S. and Canada. Affected devices will receive a notification reflecting this change. All other Samsung Smart TV models produced after 2011 will be unaffected by this change,” South Korean tech giant said in a statement last month.

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It did not specify exactly which models would be affected, only that customers have been notified.

Additionally, Older Vizio smart TVs will also lose Netflix. According to a Vizio representative, technical limitations will prevent the streaming service from working on some Vizio smart TVs with Vizio internet apps that were sold around 2012 to 2014. (IANS)