Vital signs sensor interface integrates NFC energy harvesting - Embedded.com

Vital signs sensor interface integrates NFC energy harvesting

New vital signs sensor interface IC integrates NFC energy harvesting circuit, enabling battery-less systems and home-use and single-use medical sensors.

Ensilica has launched a vital signs sensor interface IC that integrates NFC energy harvesting to enable battery-less functionality in wearable healthcare and medical device markets.

Its new ENS62020 is an ultra-low-power healthcare sensor interface IC supports the accurate and reliable measurement of an array of vital signs. These include ECG, temperature and differential capacitance, as well as optical signals, which are used to track heart rate, oxygen saturation (SpO2), glucose levels and for near-infrared spectroscopy. Ensilica said the IC is among the first of its kind to integrate an NFC energy harvesting circuit, making it suitable for both battery-powered and battery-less systems; this means it can meet the needs of a diverse array of home-use and single-use medical sensors – from oximeters to smart plasters – as well as wearable healthcare sensors and fitness trackers.

Ensilica ENS62020 block diagram
ENS62020 is an ultra-low-power healthcare sensor interface IC supports the accurate and reliable measurement of an array of vital signs. (Image: Ensilica)

The IC is designed to work alongside an edge processor, or a communication device, and incorporates two photodiode drivers / photodetector readouts; two differential ECG sensor channels suitable for 3-lead ECG with <1.6µVrms noise levels; a highly sensitive capacitive sensor channel; a temperature sensor with <0.15oC resolution (between 35-45oC); a low-power ADC. The device consumes from just ~10µA per sensor. EnSilica said that due to the size and power-optimized design, it is ideally suited for disposable medical devices and patches. The highly sensitive capacitive sensor interface also makes the device suited for MEMS sensors.

A modular IC design implemented in the ENS62020 allows for customization of the ENS62020 and enables a product-optimized ASIC. EnSilica CEO, Ian Lankshear said, “EnSilica is focused on developing ASICs in close collaboration with our customers. The ENS62020 was born out of requirements coming from a number of customers that were seeking to develop differentiated products in this fast-growing wearable healthcare and medical device market.”

The device will come in a plastic QFN 32-pin package, with samples available from June, or as part of an evaluation kit with board and demonstration software from July.


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