Texas Instruments Announces Ultra-Low Power MSP430 “Wolverine” MCU Series

Texas Instruments announced a new series of its MSP430 MCUs codenamed “Wolverine” for its aggressive power-saving technology. The company claims this ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontroller platform offers at least 50 percent less power consumption than any other micro-controller in the industry with 360 nA RTC mode and less than 100 µA/MHz active power consumption. Since typical battery powered applications spend as much as 99.9 percent of their time in standby mode, Wolverine MCUs power consumption of 360 nA in standby mode would more than double the battery life. Here are the key power savings techniques and technology using the the Wolverine MCU (MSP430FR58xx): Ultra low leakage (ULL) process technology. TI developed ULL technology that offers a 10x improvement in leakage and optimized mixed signal capabilities. Power reduction are also achieved thanks to an improved 130 nm process technology and more than 30 power-optimized analog and digital components. Unified FRAM (Ferroelectric Random […]

Cymbet EnerChip Solid State Batteries and Energy Harvesting Evaluation Kits

Cymbet has developed rechargeable solid state batteries called EnerChip for Embedded Energy, Power Backup and Energy Harvesting. Applications include backing up Real Time Clocks (RTC), Micro-controllers (MCU) and SRAM devices. The company says “EnerChips are ideal for energy harvesting powered devices such as wireless sensors, medical devices, data loggers and remote location tracking equipment.” Those chipsets aim at replacing batteries such as CR2032 batteries that you can find in watches, calculators and other low power devices. The company emphasized three key benefits of such “batteries”: EnerChips are more than 10x smaller than non-rechargeable coin cell batteries EnerChips last 3x longer than conventional coin cell batteries EnerChips are less expensive to use than conventional coin cell batteries or super caps. The price starts at 20 US cents in volume quantities. You can watch the promotion video below for an overview of those chips. Cymbet shows a lot of mobile phones in their video, […]

OLPC XO-3 Sugar Linux Tablet

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation has unveiled the OLPC XO-3 Tablet at CES 2012. This Tablet features a 8″ 1024×768 capacitive LCD touch screen running a version of Sugar Linux for Touchscreen. This must be the only tablet ot running Android at CES 2012… This current sample only have a front camera, but the final device will have both a front and rear camera. They also have an optional solar panel cover (4W panel), that can be used to charge the tablet (2W), so in ideal conditions if you charge it for 2 hours, the tablet can be used for 4 hours. Alternatively, you can also charge it for the hand cracker. A Pixel Qi tablet (not shown in the video below) is also available for extra costs (I’ve heard 100 USD extra) for better readability. OLCP did not specify availability. The way OLPC works is that they […]

Energy Harvesting Development Kit by Microchip Technology

The XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit is a  development platform for realizing energy harvesting applications powered by Microchip nanoWatt XLP PIC MCUs which are suited for  low power applications with sleep currents down to 20nA, active mode currents down to 50uA/MHz, code execution efficiency, and multiple wake-up sources. The power for the kit is supplied by Cymbet’s EVAL-08 Solar Energy Harvester which features a solar panel suitable for use with indoor or outdoor light. The XLP kit enables rapid prototyping of low power applications such as RF sensors, temperature/environmental sensors, utility meters, remote controls, security sensors and more. For software development and programming, the kit includes the PICkit 3 programmer/debugger for use with the Microchip’s free MPLAB™ Integrated Development Environment. Microchip also provides XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting RF Demo Code  in C language  (The file is a Windows Executable, but it’s just an executable compressed file so it can […]

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