Energous in the US is working with Belgian energy harvesting chip developer e-peas on free space wireless charging technology that can operate at a distance of 1m.
The two will develop an evaluation board combining e-peas’ power management IC technology with Energous’ radio frequency (RF) solution to support at-a-distance wireless charging applications for smart buildings, industrial IoT sensors, retail electronic displays and more. The e-peas PMIC is optimised for collecting tiny amounts of power for energy harvesting.
“As the wireless sensors market grows, so too is the need for avoiding battery maintenance costs. That is why at-a-distance solutions capable of charging more than a meter away are critical,” said Geoffroy Gosset, CEO and co-founder of e-peas. “We believe that the combination of both Energous’ WattUp and e-peas AEM technologies on a single evaluation board will ease the deployment of zero-maintenance solutions on multiple markets.”
The evaluation board functionality is expected to include the DA2210 WPT rectifier from Dialog Semiconductor, a key investor in Energous, alongside the e-peas AEM30940 harvesting PMIC and a supercap or rechargeable lithium battery support. Dialog’s Smartbond DA14531-based BLE SoC is used for communication and there are ambient light and temperature/humidity sensors on teh board as well as support for E-Ink display charging and for an external harvesting antenna.
Dialog is currently being acquired by Renesas Technology in Japan which has its own wireless charging technology. e-peas is already working with cellular chip designer Sequans to harvest energy from RF signals.
“As a leader in at-a-distance wireless charging, we are excited to work closely with e-peas, the leading supplier of IoT energy harvesting power management and extremely low-power microcontrollers at the edge, to offer integrated solutions like this board to allow for faster evaluation of distance-based wireless charging,” said Stephen Rizzone, president and CEO of Energous. “Our WattUp technology is designed for the growing retail, smart building and industrial IoT markets to address concerns around battery life and maintenance logistics.”
“The results of this joint effort between Energous and e-peas will be to introduce the capabilities and advantages of a small form factor, highly integrated solution that will enable charging distances greater than one meter, eventually extending out to several meters,” said Cesar Johnston, COO and executive vice president of Energous. “The core WattUp technology supporting this evaluation board is an outgrowth of the common architecture we have developed, which emphasizes scalability for all chip, hardware, software and antenna elements of the technical solution. “Key applications for e-peas PMIC devices include smart buildings, industrial IoT sensors and retail. The evaluation board will allow companies to integrate this technology for testing and evaluation in the smart buildings, wireless sensors market and electronic displays.
Energous’ WattUp free space wireless charging technology is based on radio frequency, which provides a number of benefits for wireless charging including the ability to be designed into small form factor products and devices without flat surfaces.
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