E-peas targets wearable, medical and smart sensor products

2 mins read

E-peas has unveiled a new family of battery charger devices to address the need for streamlined power management solutions for energy harvesting hardware.

While the company’s existing power management ICs (PMICs) offer direct power delivery to the application, the AEM10900, AEM10300 and AEM30300 have been designed to be fully dedicated to the charging function.

This means they can be employed in situations that need a simpler implementation, where there are space or cost constraints that need to be considered. The PMICs are able to achieve zero quiescent current draw from the battery - meaning that if energy harvesting stops for a prolonged period of time, the energy stored into the battery will not be wasted supplying the PMIC.

Working in conjunction with a single-cell photovoltaic panel, the highly-integrated AEM10900 PMIC boost converter is optimised for solar-based energy harvesting implementations.

Through its super-fast power point tracking (MPPT) functionality specially set for objects in movement, this device is able to ensure that it gets the most energy from the ambient illumination available - so as much as possible can be stored. In addition, it has a 250mV cold start capability, which means it can commence with charging the battery even when light intensities are very low.

The AEM10900 introduces an I2C interface to minimize the pin count and to offer a larger set of potential configurations. It offers an array of features, including battery thermal protection, a joule counter to let the user know the amount of energy harvested, plus a shipping mode in which the battery cannot be charged. Key applications from this PMIC will be wearable consumer products and body-worn medical monitoring equipment.

Both the AEM10300 and AEM30300 PMICs have built-in ultra-low power DC/DC converters supporting operation over an input voltage range that covers 100mV to 4.5V. Adaptive energy management permits these devices to automatically switch between boost, buck-boost and buck operational configurations as deemed appropriate. This ensures that optimal energy transfer is always maintained between the respective inputs and the storage element.

All these new battery chargers PMICs only require three external components. This means that energy harvesting functionality can be added while keeping the bill-of-materials costs low and taking up very little board space.

“As e-peas’ business matures and we continue to gain ever greater commercial traction, we must look to provide a more expansive portfolio of PMIC options to the market,” said Geoffroy Gosset, CEO & co-founder. “Following on from in-depth consultations with our customer base, it became clear that having compact solutions for charging only was going to be of real value. With these newly introduced devices we will now be able to better serve the wearable, healthcare, consumer and industrial sectors, supporting them with technology that fully meets their needs in terms of performance, size and price point.”