e-peas uses new microcontroller in battery free surveillance system

e-peas uses new microcontroller in battery free surveillance system

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Belgian chip designer e-peas semiconductor has developed its own ultra-low power microcontroller for a battery-free surveillance system.

The demo system at CES 2022 uses energy harvesting to meet all its power requirements for people counting and facial recognition. It combines the e-peas AEM10941 power management PMIC, which is designed specifically for solar cells and the AEM30940 PMIC for RF-based energy harvesting, along with a new RF antenna design. These power the EDMS105N 32bit microcontroller developed by e-peas with the lowest active power in the industry.

The 24MHz ARM Cortex-M0 controller is optimized for operation in situations where there are minimal available power, such as industrial IoT, building automation and smart city implementations. It draws 18µA/MHz while in active mode with just 340nA with its real-time clock running and retaining data in a 8kB bank of SRAM in deep sleep mode.

“The release of our EDMS105N MCU is the culmination of many years of in-depth research and development work, and we are excited to see how extensive an impact it will have on the IoT sector in the years ahead,” said Geoffroy Gossethe, CEO and co-founder of e-peas. “This is the first of a series of announcements that are going to take us towards being a one-stop shop for all the key IC components needed for extremely low power systems.”

The RF energy harvesting antenna developed with Ignion in Spain is ten times smaller than a standard off-the-shelf component and can be used for any band and for any device form factor with a proper matching network design to harvest energy at all frequencies within the 0.4GHz to 10.6GHz range. Integrated alongside the AEM30940, AEM30330 or AEM30300 radio frequency ambient energy managers (AEMs) the antenna can capture energy from a distance of up to 17 meters when using a 1W source and achieves an energy capturing range of 31 meters when using a 3W source. Energy can be captured from any direction, as the antenna is orientation independent.

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The e-peas antenna will be added to the company’s evaluation kits, allowing engineers to experiment with all the key elements on an intuitive platform, before ordering them in bundle pack with their AEMs. The antenna is fully optimized for pick-and-place manufacturing automation assembly, making it easy to install into all devices and keeping production cost down.

“This antenna is another vital piece of hardware that we can now present to our customer base. This sees us continue our evolution from being a component supplier towards becoming a full-scale solutions provider,” said Christian Ferrier, chief marketing officer at e-peas.

“Our CES demonstration will give us the opportunity to provide an international audience with more details on the full breadth of our product offering, as it continues to expand and develop,” said Gossethe. “It will underline our capacity to serve the market with comprehensive solutions for battery-free infrastructure, covering not only the power management, but also the data processing and sensing aspects. This signifies another important step in e-peas’ progression as the leader in energy autonomous edge processing and sensing applications.”

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