Semiconductor supplier Atmosic Technologies has a three-step plan for achieving a “Forever Battery.” The company is now putting it out there in the form of two newly launched Bluetooth 5 low-power chip platforms. Targeting the highly in-demand IoT industry and the 35 billion wireless connected devices that are expected to emerge in the 2020s, the California-based startup believes it can eliminate our dependence on batteries once and for all.
|Atmosic is currently delivering a solution that is closer to “extended”
battery life than it is “forever,” but the startup is hoping that its end-mission
will help it stand out against competition. (Image courtesy of Atmosic.)
That said, Atmosic's plan only applies to the kinds of smaller devices that only periodically need to transfer a data signal out. This is because improving wake and sleep commands for these devices is a central part of the forever-battery solution. The second step is to keep power consumption low enough so that the as-of-yet imperfect energy harvesting technology is enough to keep the chip going, without the need for another power source.
Together, the triple whammy of “lowest power” radio, on-demand wake up, and controlled energy harvesting are aiming to make the dream of 35 billion no-maintenance IoT devices a reality. Atmosic is releasing two versions of these Bluetooth platforms – the M2 and M3 series.
“Starting from a clean slate, the Atmosic team has rebuilt every circuit block of the radio to dramatically reduce its power consumption, while maintaining full compliance to the Bluetooth 5 standard,” writes Atmosic CEO David Su. “Our team has also created system-level advancements to further extend battery life. Combining circuit-level and system-level innovations, we can reduce the power consumption to such a low level that energy harvesting is a genuinely viable power source, enabling low-duty cycle, low-power applications to have forever battery life or be battery free.”
Although the term “Forever Battery” sounds impressive, in reality, what Atmosic is delivering now is a wireless platform that can increase battery life by 10 to 100 times longer. Not bad, for a startup that is entering a field with plenty of competition. But Su has stated that the company’s mission of “doing away with batteries altogether” will help Atmosic stand out.
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