The Internet of Things has become a part of life of the manufacturing systems, civil structures, appliances, vehicles, and even livestock. The sensors in the Internet of Things help provide information regarding the processes and maintenance of the various products. The sensors require certain power to transmit data to distant receivers and also some power to keep a check, measure and to calculate on where the system has reached its threshold. However, for more battery life, the sensors will have to operate at low power or use the environment harvested energy.
Thus, need for the power converters to convert input voltage into a balanced output voltage within an efficient narrow current range is escalating. A new power converter with a maintained efficiency in the current range from 500 Picoamps to 1 Milliamp has been developed by Arun Paidimarri and other researchers at MIT’s Microsystems Technologies Laboratories.
The converters quiescent power period is during which a certain amount of power is used even though not providing any output. Keeping this in mind, Arun developed a power converter that can help maintain the efficiency over a broad range of currents. The new converter is a step-down converter where the output voltage (0.7–0.9 Volts) is less than the input voltage (1.2–3.3 Volts) and is based on the packets of energy concept. The converter has on/off switch, capacitor, and an inductor which maintain a control circuitry in order to release a certain packet of energy. The energy released may vary from hundred to million packets per second depending on the device. The voltage-divider and a variable clock along with an additional circuit used in the converter help maintain an efficient current handling capacity.
Thus, the exciting new converter invention can prove to be a boon for the Internet of things controlled devices.