Wireless power in AA format creates ‘forever battery’

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The Cota ‘Forever Battery’ puts a long distance wireless power receiver into an AA battery format. The technology can receive up to 4W from a nearby RF transmitter, and includes a data link.

The Forever Battery can retrofit devices to receive real wireless power without plugs, wires, or charging pads, and the Cota transmitter can power multiple Forever Batteries in motion, without line of sight, at a distance. The Forever Battery is safe and does not interfere with other wireless technologies, and the AA format is just the start says the company.

By adding power and data capabilities, Forever Battery transforms ‘dumb’ devices into Smart devices, allowing millions of already-deployed devices to be integrated into the Internet of Things. Once placed in a device, Forever Batteries enables the user to monitor and partially control that device from the Cota Cloud web platform or mobile app. Users can manage power usage and even connect battery-operated devices to communicate with each other.

While Ossia pitches the Forever Battery as a replacement for AA batteries in consumer equipment, there is a more limited number of appropriate applications that are relatively low power and relatively static. Ossia sees the batteries in security systems, locks, thermostats, remote controls, leak detectors, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

“Forever Battery bridges the gap between the battery-wire age and the wireless power era,” said Mario Obeidat, CEO of Ossia. “When people see how Cota Real Wireless Power can be implemented in a AA battery, they will start to see the vision of Cota everywhere. The Forever Battery will create awareness of Cota and provide confidence that devices will be powered when it matters.”

Next: Reference design

Integrating a wireless power receiver with a rechargeable battery that is trickle charged by the transmitter makes more sense for a portabl eapplicatoins requiring more power. To that end the company launched a reference design kit for Cota Chipset last month

“This marks a milestone for Ossia and another step in establishing Cota as a critical enabler of bringing Real Wireless Power to the world,” said Obeidat. “Manufacturers can continue to work with Ossia to access this next-generation reference design kit and build market-ready products. It’s another major step towards igniting the wireless power era.”

The reference design kit includes two new components: Cota Wireless Power Receiver Chip and Cota Wireless Power Transmitter Chip. Si-Ware Systems provides both Cota chips as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) on one of the world’s mainstream process nodes for scalability and value. OEMs may license receiver and transmitter reference designs from Ossia together or separately.

With a chip size of 5mm x 5mm, the receiver fits in smartphones, wearables, sensors, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It can receive up to 4W of incoming radio frequency (RF) power from as many as four antennas simultaneously. Compared to earlier designs, the new receiver charges faster, stays cooler, and features ultra-low power sleep mode, which ensures the chip is only activated in range of a transmitter.  

The Cota Wireless Power Transmitter Chip delivers wireless power to devices that contain the Cota Wireless Power Receiver Chip. With a monolithic multiple antenna management chip in the size of 4mm x 4mm, the transmitter can be built into many form factors such as ceiling tiles, tables, desks, glass, televisions, and automobile dashboards. Compared to prior generations, the new transmitter chip charges devices faster, delivering roughly twice as much power safely. The transmitter automatically detects Cota-enabled devices and includes a temperature-sensing unit to prevent overheating.

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