Battery powered electronics have come a long way both in terms of performance and power consumption, fuelling a continuous growth in number of units deployed and use cases. This creates new opportunities, but also increased resource depletion and waste generation from the systems themselves. EU research estimates 78 million batteries will be thrown away on a daily basis from 2025 unless something is done.
Nanopower’s mission is to address both the operational shortfalls of limited battery life and the sustainability issue of electronics through a unique low power technology. The company has proven the performance of its own chip that, enabling any electronic system to operate in the nanowatt-range while still keeping functions and sensing abilities intact.
The Nanopower performance yields the opportunity to integrate and create a meaningful impact from low-power energy harvesting technologies like radio waves, temperature differences, etc.
The project combines the capabilities of Nanopower and University of Southeast Norway to redefine what is possible to do with power harvesting and create the basis for a Nanopower chip that enables new opportunities for battery-less operations.
Nanopower is using its own specialized patent pending technology to achieve a world leading advanced power management hub for any system’s wireless chip, processor, sensors, and other peripherals with regards to power consumption. The goal is a Smart Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) that enables completely new applications and scale of IoT solutions, including integration of low power harvesting technologies. Unlike PMICs on the market, it will offer substantially lower power consumption and the ability to operate in a series of modes without an active processing unit. The planned innovation includes further development of Nanopower subthreshold IC design.
The project will have significant challenges linked to enabling smart operations of a system based on energy harvesting. USN will build on own specialist competence linked to power harvesting technologies and integration.
Subthreshold design includes challenges like management of non-linear subthreshold behavior and development of tools to accurately predict such behavior. A key issue is that subthreshold voltage means systems start to behave non-linear and normal tools’ ' basic assumptions are challenged or breached. Creating robust solutions not only implies creating specialized subthreshold IC designs, but achieving unprecedented low consumption involves understanding fundamental material and electrical behavior at low voltage and low current conditions.
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