Smallest energy harvesting chip for wearables and IoT

January 11, 2021 //By Nick Flaherty
Smallest energy harvesting chip for wearables and IoT
The MAX20361 reduces solution size by at least 50 percent while also improving solar energy harvesting efficiency says Maxim Integrated

Maxim Integrated has launched a solar energy harvesting controller that it says is the smallest on the market.

The MAX20361 single-/multi-cell solar energy harvester includes maximum power point tracking (MPPT) for space constrained wearable applications and nodes in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The MAX20361, launched alongside the CES 2021 show, can extend the runtime of devices by providing a supplemental power source from 15μW to over 300mW. The device reduces solution size by at least half compared to the closest competitor  through a reduced component size and smaller, fewer external components such as a 4.7μH inductor  in a 2016 package. The chip has an input voltage range of 225mV to 2.5V (typ) in a 12-bump, 0.4mm pitch, 1.63mm x 1.23mm wafer-level package (WLP).

It also increases harvested energy with up to 5 percent higher boost efficiency, coupled with an adaptive MPPT approach using a programmable fractional VOC regulation point controlled through the I 2C Interface which can improve the overall system level efficiency even further.

“This device offers exciting possibilities for a new supplemental power source to continually charge the battery of a device,” said Frank Dowling, director of the Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “For example, if you can harvest just 30mW of solar power per day on a 300mAh battery system which typically runs for three weeks, you can as a result extend that runtime by over 50 percent.”

The MAX20361 is available at Maxim Integrated’s website for $2.64 (1000-up, FOB USA). The MAX20361EVKIT# evaluation kit is available for $57

www.maximintegrated.com

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