ONiO.zero offers a RISC-V Microcontroller that runs without battery

ONiO.zero

Energy harvesting has been an exciting area people have tried to venture into mostly because of the possible applications that can arise from it. Newly invented energy-harvesting technologies accompanying low-power computing systems have pushed the boundaries of where embedded systems can be deployed. The demand for an increase in connected applications which require an underlying embedded system, and as we know, all electronic devices require a power source of some sort. This power source, batteries in most cases, comes with an accompanying buck regulator of some sort that will tend to increase the BOM. Aside from the BOM rise from the usage of batteries, there is also the shelf life and environmental aspects. The Norwegian specialist ONiO has introduced the ONiO.zero to address those issues. Having no battery means fewer components and a smaller design, which can easily be integrated into a wide range of solutions – be it fabrics, jewelry, watches, wearable medical devices, livestock or building sensors. More …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

JBL Reflect Eternal are Self-Charging, Solar-Powered Headphones (Crowdfunding)

JBL REFLECT Eternal Self-Charging Headphones A simple solution to the constant problem of having to charge wireless earbuds is to make it so they never need a charge, at all. That means do not use an AC adapter or USB charger, and instead, use solar power. The JBL REFLECT Eternal headphones are solar-powered and never need charging. JBL an Iconic Brand The iconic audio company has been moving inexorably into the 21st century with Bluetooth enabled wireless speakers, headphones and other up-to-date tech-enabled audio equipment. How Solar is Used to Power the JBL REFLECT Eternal headphones The headphones can turn artificial and natural light into energy through the Exeger Powerfoyle process. The company states “more light, more playtime” which is true in its basic aspects. Self-Charging Issue The self-charging portion of the process of charging for the JBL REFLECT Eternal can be slow, and sometimes not power up the headphones fast enough to keep playing music continuously. Resolution of the …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Self-powered Swallowable Thermometer Measures Internal Body Temperature

Swallowable Thermometer

Having just written about a thermometer board for home automation,  I’ll stay on the temperature measurement topic, as I’ve found another thermometer that targets the medical field instead. Body temperature measurement at my local hospital is done under the armpit, which does the job in most cases, but more accurate temperature measurement of “deep body temperature” is normally achieved through rectal temperature measurement which is not as practical and comfortable for most people. Daily measurements of deep body temperature can apparently allow physicians to better understand “biological clocks”. In practical terms, it means doctors would be able to know ovulation cycles, measure the fatigue degrees of athletes, and even prevent heat strokes and hypothermia. Seeing the impractically in the conventional method, Nakamura Lab at Tohoku University developed a “swallowable thermometer” for this purpose. The swallowable sensor measures just 9.16mm in diameter, is allegedly perfectly safe to the human body, and is powered in the stomach using the same principle as …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Evercell Thermal Energy Harvester to Power Battery-less IoT Wireless Sensors

In order to be successful the Internet of Things needs to be extremely inexpensive per node, and the problem is that most remote sensors are non powered by batteries, which either needs to be replaced or recharged, which involve maintenance costs. One ideal solution is battery-less IoT sensor nodes, that do not need any battery, and instead rely on energy harvesting. The idea is easier said that done, especially if you intend to do it cheaply. While there have been solutions provided over the years for example using vibration energy harvesting or water flow, battery-less devices are still not that common, but companies still bring new energy harvesting devices to market. One of those is Face International’s Evercell thermal energy harvester that leverages the temperature difference within a material to generate electricity, as long as ambient temperature is above absolute zero. The company plans to manufacture various models of their harvester with different capacities, size, and thickness, for example (expected …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Cracking Open a Self-Powered Shower Temperature Display

A month ago, I wrote about a $10 self-powered thermometer display that connects to your shower header and can display the water temperature near real-time to help with mixing hot and cold water tap to achieve the perfect temperature. It’s not really useful where I live, but I was hoping somebody would buy one, and crack it open to find out how it works. It turns out MickMake has done just that even bringing an oscilloscope in the shower… If you just want to use the thing, the good news is that it appears to work well, and temperature is displayed within less than one second after turning the tap, and goes up as hot/warm water goes through it. Now for the teardown… It does not seem that easy to open it, but he managed, and found a 470 uF capacitor, LS164 8-bit shift register for the LCD display, ABS6 bridge rectifier, and another chip that’s blank but should be …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

TDK CeraCharge Solid State Battery-in-a-Chip is Designed for IoT & Wearables

We’ve recently seen solid state batteries are prone to dislodge current Lithium Ion battery technology as they are safer, support higher energy density, and faster charging. Such batteries are expected to be seen in car in the first part of the next decade, in smartphones starting possibly in 2019, but TDK has just announced their own CeraCharge rechargeable solid state SMD battery with mass production scheduled to start in April 2018. TDK CeraCharge battery-in-a-chip will come in compact EIA 1812 package (4.5 x 3.2 x 1.1 mm), offer a capacity of 100 µAh at a rated voltage of 1.4 V, and can be recharged up to 1000 times. Potential applications include IoT devices, real-time clocks, Bluetooth beacons, and systems for energy harvesting. The battery – which will look very similar to an SMD capacitor – does not include liquid electrolyte, and instead uses a solid ceramic element as electrolyte which rules out any risk of fire, explosion, or leakage. The solution works in a wide temperature range …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

$10 Self-Powered Thermometer Displays Shower Water Temperature in Real-Time

I now live in a house with an electric water heater which warms the temperature on the fly to the temperature we set on the display, provided it’s not too cold. But in the past, I lived in colder climates with water pre-heated in a hot water tank, and accessibly from most taps in the house. Each time I took a shower I had to adjust the cold and hot water taps, wait a bit, and do further adjustments to get the right temperature, not too cold, not too hot. I’ve just come across a little gadget that you ease this process as it display the water temperature on an LCD display. Installation looks fairly easy, and there’s no need for batteries as it’s self powered with the flow of water. Some of the key features of the device include: Display – 360 degree rotatable & waterproof LED display design:  and waterproof design for better viewing Sensor – High-precision temperature …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

EtaCore ARM Cortex M3 Core Operates at Low Voltage (0.25V and up) for Higher Power Efficiency

We’ve previously seen Ambiq Micro offering Apollo ARM Cortex M4F MCU with Cortex M0+ energy efficiency, and later the upgraded Apollo 2 MCU with even lower power consumption and better performance. The company can achieve such efficiency thanks to low sub-thresold operating voltage in the 0 to 0.5V range. Another startup – Eta Compute – is now offering another low voltage solution with their EtaCore ARM Cortex M3 IP, and other IP blocks operating at low voltage (0.25 to 1.2V). Eta Compute claims a “10x improvement in power efficiency over any alternative”, and battery life of over 10 years on a CR2032 coin cell. Their website does not provide that many details about the core and development tools, but still mentions the following: The only commercially available self-timed technology supporting dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) that is insensitive to process variations, inaccurate device models, and path delay variations Includes M0+ and M3 ARM cores scaling 0.3 to 1.2 volt operation with …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon