Chip that collects energy from multiple sources

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To say that technology is advancing in all simple, but if we look closer, reality teaches us something different. As an example: Mobile devices have become much more powerful, and are evidence of this everywhere, but this progress has resulted in systems energy storage laptops are pushed to the limit. The chips need ever more power to operate, and in many cases, the battery as we know it is a limiting factor. In order to avoid this problem, a group of researchers from MIT has developed a chip with the ability to get energy from different sources such as sunlight, heat, and even vibrations.

  • Increase the processing power without tripping the power consumption is a constant challenge for manufacturers of mobile devices. Sometimes it is possible to reduce consumption , while in others, the only viable alternative is to increase the size of the battery for autonomy does not record negative changes. Now what happens when a battery is not an option ? Imagine remote locations, operating systems under conditions that would make it very difficult if not impossible to maintain and / or replacement of a battery. There are chips with low energy demand, to the point they can get energy from sources such as sunlight or vibration, but also the detail of the flash , as these sources are not constant.

    A chip, low power, three different sources to extend their autonomy

    In addition to low power consumption, the trick would be in a chip is capable of using different sources simultaneously , and that’s exactly what they have developed Anantha Chandrakasan and Saurav Bandyopadhyay of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT . Generate power with our movement is well-known(think Seiko Kinetic watches, for example) , but the big challenge is the combination of sources, or rather, using the same circuit for all. According to the words of Bandyopadhyay, circuits that collect energy from temperature differences produce a maximum of 0.15 volts. A single cell increases the number to 0.7 volts, while the collection of peaks of vibration can lead to five volts . 

    Instead of choosing the source that provides more power, the chip includes all energy, using and keeping the rest of the energy in capacitors to reduce waste. It was also necessary to minimize the consumption of the circuit itself, so that can deliver as much energy as possible to the device. The chip can even work with the energy that comes directly from the source, or use the stored energy depending on the situation, further increasing efficiency. The project received financial support from the Interconnect Focus Center , a name behind which we find another old friend: DARPA . Sensors located in remote areas, medical devices fed patient movement, and gadgets with a secondary charging system are just three applications that come to mind for a chip like this. We waste a lot of energy, and any development that allows us to collect it , is certainly welcome.

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