Belgian energy harvesting chip designer e-peas has strengthened its sales channel through a global distribution agreement with Mouser Electronics.
The PMIC technology is suitable for a broad array of potential use cases, including industrial control/monitoring, building automation, smart homes, agriculture, environment monitoring, healthcare and smart metering and seeing widespread deployment in locations all over the world.
The Ambient Energy Manager (AEM) PMIC series offers devices specifically optimized for solar, thermal, vibration and RF oriented energy harvesting. This allows IoT hardware can be powered indefinitely, without the need to periodically replace batteries.
The AEM series includes the AEM10941 for extracting DC power from photovoltaic cells, covering 380mV to 3µW. The AEM20940 is dedicated to thermal energy harvesting, and can manage DC power from 60mV, taken off thermo-electric generator (TEG) outputs. The AEM30940 is used in situations where vibrational-based energy harvesting is applicable, this PMIC (combined with an adapted rectifier) can deal with the DC power provided by piezo generators, micro turbine generators or RF antennas. The AEM40940 extracts AC power from ambient RF waves, leveraging the available input power from 20dBm up to 10dBm.
Housed in compact 5mm x 5mm QFN packages, the PMICs extract power from their respective harvesters as soon as the 380mV and 3µW threshold is met. The cold-start circuitry allows operation to be initiated with empty storage elements from a far lower input power than for competing devices. They can then supply this power to IoT hardware via 2 independent regulated voltages lines (thanks to the two LDOs integrated), delivering currents of up to 80mA.
The PMICs can simultaneously store the extracted energy in rechargeable elements (such as battery cells or supercapacitors). Each device has a built-in ultra-low power boost converter that operates with input voltages of between 50mV and 5V. Only a small number of passive components are required to accompany these PMICs, saving board space and keeping bill of materials costs down.