Constant voltage PMICs for intermittent input energy harvesting arrangements

14-04-2022 | e-peas | Semiconductors

e-peas has released three new PMICs, providing product developers with even greater scope to implement their energy harvesting systems. The innovative engineering breakthroughs of these new devices incorporate constant input voltage regulation, making them uniquely optimised for intermittent and pulsed power inputs, complementary to the current AEM family.

The AEM00330 is a complete power management chip, whereas the AEM00300 is a storage element charger. Both are self-configurable, with the capability to automatically switch between buck, buck-boost and boost operation. This allows faster adjustments with different source, storage and load arrangements (step-up, step-down, etc.) and maximises these devices’ energy transfer abilities. They have been developed to respond instantly to the power input once a pre-defined threshold has been exceeded – leading to quick and effective energy extraction. The operating input voltage range goes from 140mV to 4.5V, so power levels of 3µW to 570mW can be managed. Another key feature is their ability to swap from powering the load or the storage element, giving better flexibility in applications where there should be an initial focus on one or the other. Among the potential uses for these devices are door access systems, smart switches for smart home or smart building, PoS units and smart running shoes.

The AEM00940 is a boost solution developed for supporting high-efficiency energy transfer from sources having a lower voltage than the storage element. It has an LDO-based output rather than a DC-DC-based one. The selectable operating input voltage spans from 50mV to 4.5V.

As well as pulsed and intermittent sources, those three PMICs are ideal for use with sources that need a long time to reach their open circuit.

All three of these new devices have complete storage element versatility, allowing them to be applied to energy harvesting implementations with single and dual cell supercapacitors, Li-Ion, LiFePO4, Li-Po, NiCd, thin-film batteries and solid-state batteries. Each has selectable and adjustable storage element protection mechanisms, covering over-charge and over-discharge.

“Not all energy harvesting can rely on longer-lasting outputs. There are many cases where only a short burst will be available,” e-peas’ CMO, Christian Ferrier, states: “By developing solutions that can quickly react to such sources, we are bringing something truly unique to the market. Our new constant voltage PMICs can capture energy whenever it is present, addressing the needs of home and building automation and many new use cases.”

The AEM00330 is provided in a 40-pin QFN package format with 5mm x 5mm dimensions. The AEM00300 comes in a 4mm x 4mm 28-pin QFN package, while the AEM00940 has a 5mm x 5mm QFN28 package.

By Natasha Shek