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E-Peas introduces new versatile Buck-Boost ICs

E-Peas has expanded its portfolio of advanced power management ICs (PMICs) for energy harvesting applications, with two new devices adding complementary features to previously released products.

The AEM10330 and AEM30330 PMICs have been designed with an innovative buck-boost architecture and are able to deal with far lower battery voltages. Also, the high-speed charging of super-capacitors that these ICs can supervise allows more energy to be made available to the load - resulting in greater flexibility when it comes to selecting the storage device.

The AEM10330 is specifically intended for solar deployments, while the AEM30330 is targeted at RF/vibration-oriented deployments (including industrial, home automation, asset tracking and aftermarket automotive monitoring systems, as well as retail applications).

One of the key characteristics of both devices is the cold-start threshold at which they can begin to draw energy from the surrounding environment. This has been lowered to just 275mV/3µW, which presents a substantial improvement on the previous generation of e-peas PMICs.

These PMICs can deliver up to 60mA, so storage elements can be charged rapidly. By leveraging the fully configurable maximum power point tracking (MPPT) function, the AEM10330 and AEM30330 can continuously monitor and regulate the input with a fast refresh rate of 20ms supported. Consequently, the extraction efficiency of the system will be kept as high as possible, regardless of variations in the input from the source.

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 outputs.

Furthermore, this single power converter can automatically select between three inputs (the harvester, the storage device or a primary battery) and two outputs (the storage device or the application load). The capability of directly transferring harvested energy to the load or to the storage element is unique to these PMICs.

Both devices have a working temperature range that spans from -40°C to 125°C. They are supplied in compact 40-pin QFN packages and require only four components to accompany them ensuring ultra-low bill-of-materials and a solution that takes up very little board space.

Neil Tyler

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