CES: TI shows how consumer electronics can harvest energy

January 07, 2013

Bernard Cole-January 07, 2013

Among the many technology innovations showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, Texas Instruments is taking the wraps off what it claims is the industry's lowest power DC/DC step-down converter.

Designed to increase the amount of harvested energy an end application can use as much as 70 percent over alternative devices, the ultra-low power circuit enables battery-free power to applications, such as wireless sensor networks, monitoring systems, smoke detectors, wearable medical devices and mobile accessories.

"Imagine not having to change the battery in your smoke detector – ever," said Sami Kiriaki, senior vice president of TI's Power Management.

He said TI's TPS62736 DC/DC converter delivers high power conversion efficiency from 10 uA to 50 mA output currents, and consumes only 350 nA of active current and 20 nA during standby.

The converter achieves greater than 90-percent efficiency across output currents higher than 15 uA. The TPS62736 regulator steps down the voltage from a power source, such as a thin-film or regular battery or a super capacitor and features a programmable output voltage.

The TPS62736 is currently sampling through TI. Volume production is expected later in the first quarter. Evaluation modules  are available to select customers.

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