The highly integrated AEM10940 is the resul tof ten years of research and consists of an ultra-low power boost converter with a 94% efficiency, along with voltage reference, energy management and dual LDO regulators. Specialised cold-start circuitry means the device can be brought into active operation even when there is minimal energy left – an input voltage of just 380mV and 11μW of power proving to be more than sufficient.
The IC harvests available input power up to 50mW from an allocated energy source, such as a photovoltaic cell. Its boost converter (which has an input voltage range that spans from 100mV to 2.5V) exploits this for the rapid charging of any connected energy storage reserve, such as a Li-Ion battery, thin film battery, or conventional-/super-capacitor. It enables the charge rate to be almost three times that of alternative solutions currently on the market.
The two embedded LDO regulators deliver up to 98% current efficiency across a broad load range. The low voltage regulator at 1.8V can provide up to 10mA load current and is typically used to drive the system’s microcontroller. The high voltage supply, which is configurable between 2.2V and 4.2V, can sustain up to 80mA of load current and will normally take care of tasks such as powering the system’s wireless transceiver.
In addition to the efficiency and cold-start capabilities the IC integrates a dual-regulated output to reduce the PCB footprint.
“The AEM10940 will be pivotal in meeting the demands of a host of new systems where every megajoule of energy is certain to be precious. The versatility of this IC means it will work with all types of DC energy harvesting apparatus and all types of energy storage technology,” said Thierry Keutgen, Product Marketing Director of e-peas. “Through its specification engineering teams will be able to dramatically lengthen their systems’ battery lives. In many cases, it will even permit the elimination of the primary energy storage resource completely, thereby resulting not only in significant space savings being derived, but also avoiding the heavy expense of carrying out maintenance work in what are often inaccessible places.”
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