Sigfox teams for its first energy harvesting module
French IoT network provider Sigfox has teamed up to produce its first energy harvesting board for long battery life communications.
The board, designed by HT Micron in Brazil and shown at CES 2022, uses a power management IC (PMIC) from Dutch chip designer Nowi that is optimised for harvesting small amounts of power from the environment.
The collaboration marks the first step for Sigfox towards a commercial development of energy harvesting modules to equip IoT devices and contribute to more sustainability in IoT. Key use cases are applications in smart meters, industrial sensors, asset tracking and air quality monitoring.
The Nowi PMIC is designed to efficiently extract power from ambient energy sources like light and vibration to charge a variety of energy storage elements such as a rechargeable battery or a capacitor. It is best suited for most low power applications such as distributed IoT sensors.
“The low power consumption of Sigfox solutions is particularly well suited to being powered by ambient energy harvesting. As many Sigfox-based applications require intermittent communication intervals, this allows for trickle charging a storage element with energy harvesting in between transmissions,” said Chris Juliano, CCO at Nowi.
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Sigfox and HT Micron have been working together for several years already and HT Micron was identified as a strategic partner for this project as they have the expertise to create innovative modules and they consider energy harvesting essential for IoT mass adoption with sustainability.
“We are glad to take this next step with Sigfox and explore energy harvesting solutions as a new way to create added value to our end customers and help them improve their environmental impact,” said Edelweis Ritt, CIO at HT Micron.
“This collaboration with Nowi and HT Micron is another proof point towards our ambition to create IoT solutions that will help our clients preserve the environment by greatly reducing their energy consumption. We are looking forward to the development of this new kind of devices and to the positive impact they will generate” says Benjamin Jooris, Client & Ecosystem Success Director at Sigfox.
The first step of the project is a development kit integrating Nowi’s PMIC with HT Micron’s Sigfox system-in-package, to be used for testing purposes by R&D and product development teams. Sigfox, Nowi and HT Micron will then work to create a mass production module that can be used by any type of device maker.
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