Startup aims to replace power connectors with magnetic module

January 06, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
US startup NuCurrent has launched an ultra-small power module that it believes could replace the traditional power connector.

The ultra-small power and sense modules were created for engineers looking to reduce connector field failures in traditionally high-use, harsh environments or in new designs which were not previously possible without a physical power connection. The new connectors, launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, allow power transfer of 165mW at 3.3V across a gap of up to 1.5mm (and 132mW across 2mm), and can validate the presence of a mating receiver through non-metallic materials.

Already designed into demanding medical applications, these power and data expandable devices provide greater orientation / offset freedom, infinite mating cycles, and environment flexibility within an ultra-small, rectangular package measuring 11mm x 4mm x 4.5mm. Each receiver and transmitter uses NuCurrent’s PCB coils and proprietary electronics in a single block which can be surface mounted for automated manufacturing. The Chicago-based company has 17 patents for its 'CoolSkin Technologies' and proprietary design methodologies which ensure high efficiency, shape flexibility, tight tolerance and repeatable performance.

“This new category of cost-sensitive power and sense products delivers solutions to real issues for applications such as portable medical, IOT sensors, robotics, lighting and security. NuCurrent’s practical R&D-to-production focus delivered a reliable family of solutions where others could not,” said Michael Gotlieb, Vice President of Business Development at NuCurrent. “This technology complements our broad range of existing antennas and consumer focused ‘drop-in’ 1 watt to 5 watt receiver modules for wearables, hearables and other portable applications.”

NuCurrent also announced a range of medium power, wireless power coils for Qi low frequency applications at CES. Joining NuCurrent’s single substrate multimode (Qi, AirFuel) medium power coil, four newly created coil designs are now available. Easily customizable, yet production-ready, the new 10 watt to 15 watt receiver coils deliver the highest performance of any other market offering targeting mobile and consumer accessory OEMs.

Connector maker Molex has invested in the company and last November launched a range of  wireless power coils with NuCurrent technology