e-peas develops custom chip for Cartier solar watch

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Cartier’s latest Tank watch includes a solar cell to boost the battery life to 16 years. Light falling on certain areas of the watch dial surface is absorbed by a high-efficiency photovoltaic element that is then acquired by a custom power management chip developed by e-peas semiconductor in Belgium.

A key requirement for Cartier was the ability to start and efficiently harvest energy at low light levels so that poor indoor light would be sufficient to power the watch. Proper management of the tiny sensitive battery was also paramount to maximize its lifetime. The standby current of the PMIC needed to be minimal too, so that little power was drawn from the battery when the watch is not being worn and is stored in a dark place.

The PMIC specially developed for the Tank watch with a footprint of 2 x 2mm and only a few external components to enable the design to fit into the very constrained space available in the Tank watch.

“For the very first time, we are introducing an original version of the Tank Watch with a photovoltaic movement, which is utterly pioneering. It took us 4 years to develop this innovative movement with the help of Richemont Innovation and Manufacture Horlogère de Val Fleurier,” said Arnaud Carrez, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Cartier. “Adding advanced energy harvesting capabilities to our Tank watch collection allows us to provide our clients with a watch whose design and quality meet Cartier’s standards, while further reducing the Maison’s environmental footprint over its entire life cycle.”

“The number of design wins that we have gained for our energy harvesting PMICs continues to grow, and with this latest project we are now taking things to a whole new level,” said Geoffroy Gosset, e-peas’ CEO. “Our work with Cartier shows that we have both the technology, innovation and quality to provide industry-leading energy harvesting solutions to the best-known global brands, so that they can gain a real competitive edge.”

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