Cypress Semiconductor Corp. today announced a new family of Energy Harvesting Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMICs) that enable tiny, solar-powered wireless sensors for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The new devices are the world’s lowest-power, single-chip Energy Harvesting PMICs, and can be used with solar cells as small as 1 cm(2). The new PMIC devices are fully integrated, making them ideal for batteryless Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSNs) that monitor physical and environmental conditions for smart homes, commercial buildings, factories, infrastructure and agriculture. Cypress offers a complete, battery-free Energy Harvesting solution that pairs the S6AE101A PMIC, the first device in the new family, with the EZ-BLE PRoC module for Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, along with supporting software, in a $49 kit.
The WSN IoT device market is expected to grow to more than 5 billion units by 2020, putting a premium on battery-free implementations to reduce cost and maintenance problems. The placement of a WSN may limit its size and the amount of light available, thereby limiting the size and power output of the solar module and the startup power available for the Energy Harvesting PMIC. The new Cypress Energy Harvesting PMIC devices address these challenges with startup power of 1.2uW–4x lower than the nearest competitor–and consumption current as low as 250nA, maximizing the power available for the sensing, processing and communications functions of a target application. The fully-certified, small-form-factor EZ-BLE PRoC module, which is based on Cypress’s PRoC BLE Programmable Radio-on-Chip solution, works with the PMIC devices to contribute to the low power and ease-of-use of an energy harvesting system solution.
“The most compelling new Wireless Sensor Nodes that will drive IoT growth are self-powered, can be deployed anywhere for more than 10 years, and require minimal deployment and maintenance costs,” said Kiyoe Nagaya, vice president of the Analog Business Unit at Cypress. “Using our new Energy Harvesting PMIC and EZ-BLE PRoC Bluetooth Smart module, Cypress offers a complete solution that enables developers to create solar-powered WSNs for batteryless IoT devices.”