Monday January 27, 2020
Home Lead Story This Chip Can...

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

0
//
chip
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.

Chip
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.

Also Read- Russian Parliament Plans to Bring a Bill to Ship Devices With Pre-Installed Russian Apps

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)

Next Story

New Stretchable Battery Can Safely Store Power for Wearables

This stretchable battery can safely power wearables

0
Battery
Researchers have developed a soft and stretchable battery for wearable electronics that relies on a special type of plastic. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Researchers from Stanford University have developed a soft and stretchable battery for wearable electronics that relies on a special type of plastic to store power more safely than flammable material used in the conventional batteries today.

The adoption of wearable electronics has so far been limited by their need to derive power from bulky, rigid batteries that reduce comfort and may present safety hazards due to chemical leakage or combustion.

“Until now, we haven’t had a power source that could stretch and bend the way our bodies do, so that we can design electronics that people can comfortably wear,” said chemical engineer Zhenan Bao, who teamed up with materials scientist Yi Cui to develop the device.

Battery
The prototype is thumbnail-sized and stores roughly half as much energy, ounce for ounce, as a comparably sized conventional battery. (Representational Image). Pixabay

For some time, lithium ion batteries have used polymers as electrolytes — the energy source that transports negative ions to the battery’s positive pole.

However, those polymer electrolytes have been flowable gels that could, in some cases, leak or burst into flame.

To avoid such risks, the Stanford researchers developed a polymer that is solid and stretchable rather than gooey and potentially leaky, and yet still carries an electric charge between the battery’s poles.

In lab tests, the experimental battery maintained a constant power output even when squeezed, folded and stretched to nearly twice its original length.

Also Read- Amazon’s Music Streaming Service Hits 55 Million Subscribers Globally

The prototype is thumbnail-sized and stores roughly half as much energy, ounce for ounce, as a comparably sized conventional battery.

“One potential application for such a device would be to power stretchable sensors designed to stick to the skin to monitor heart rate and other vital signs,” the researchers noted in the journal ature Communications. (IANS)