Brazil startup offers PMIC for solar energy harvesting

June 18, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
SiliconReef, a Brazilian startup founded around 2008 that offers analog and mixed-signal design services, has introduced its first product, a power management IC for solar energy harvesting applications.

The EH01-USB is a power conversion and switching chip that can direct electrical energy from and to multiple sources including a DC wall adapter, photovoltaic cells and a Li-ion battery. This device enables a simple implementation of a 5V supply, such as a USB charger compatible with the ITU standard for the Universal Charging Solution (L.1000).

Using the on-chip DC/DC boost converter the EH01 converts the voltage from solar panel to a stable 5V output. Excess energy is directed to a Li-ion battery charger circuit which stores the excess energy in an external battery. The battery supply can complement the energy to the DC/DC converter when needed.

The EH01 also provides an interface for battery status monitoring. This can be done via a button making a LED pulse or via serial communication.

The chip has a conversion efficiency of greater than 90 percent SiliconReef claims. It consumes less than 5mW in operation and less than 500microwatts in standby. The chip is packaged in a 20 contact QFN package measuring 5mm by 5mm.

SiliconReef (Recife, Brazil) did not indicate who is manufacturing and packing the EH01 or what process technology it is implemented in.

SiliconReef plans to produce variants on the EH01 over the next couple of years. The EH02-piezo will be a PMIC for kinetic energy harvesting designed to work with piezoelectric transducers and optimized for industrial and automotive applications. The EH01-HV will be another solar energy PMIC but designed to attach to 48V DC input and provide a range of outputs between 5V and 24V. This is being designed for use in automotive and telecommunication industry.

Related links and articles:

EH101 datasheet

News articles:

Brazil wins in LFoundry Rousset sell-off

A trip to Brazil for your best football predictions