Wireless power over 40m for battery -free Bluetooth sensor
Powercast in the US is working with InPlay to provide wireless power over a distance of 40m to a battery free Bluetooth Low Energy sensor chip.
The InPlay NanoBeacon system-on-chip (SoC) is used for battery-free, maintenance-free, long-range wireless IoT sensor systems that deploy easily for monitoring in the retail, medical, warehousing and industrial IoT markets.
Powercast’s RF far field energy harvesting technology can power the NanoBeacon IN100 sensor systems at a distance of 40m (120ft), eliminating the need for even rechargeable batteries. These are driven by Powercast’s commercially-available PowerSpot transmitter, enabling a beacon signal every minute. NanoBeacon’s low-power design, which features fast start-up and data transmission using only microwatts of power, supports Powercast in achieving this performance. As the NanoBeacon moves farther from Powercast’s RF transmitter, beacon signals become less frequent, while moving it closer allows more frequency if the application requires it.
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The extended distance also comes from Powercast’s new reference design for its PCC110 Powerharvester chip and companion PCC210 boost converter, which provide RF energy harvesting with up to 75 percent efficiency.
“Powercast’s and InPlay’s technologies combine to make every microwatt of power count in efficient and green IoT networks powered over the air, now at unprecedented distances, without batteries,” said Charles Goetz, CEO of Powercast. “Together we are advancing the IoT, creating the opportunity for new battery-free sensor types, low-power intelligent endpoints, and smart tracking tags used in retail, asset tracking and industrial sensing.”
InPlay’s NanoBeacon SoC family aims to make smart sensor systems using active RFID technology affordable and easy to deploy, via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The sensors are configured via an app, requires no software programming, transmits data up to 300 feet, and features software-defined radio (SDR) edge networking to connect tens of thousands of IoT devices.
“Maintaining billions of battery-powered IoT devices in the field is an expensive challenge, but with Powercast’s technology, our customers can design battery-free wireless sensors to avoid downtime and maintenance issues,” said Jason Wu, co-founder and CEO of InPlay. “Our technology is already easy and affordable to deploy vs. traditional RFID deployments which normally require technical experts. Now customers can also eliminate battery maintenance, and monitor more asset conditions when adding sensors to the system.”
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