Recent Press Releases


Ald introduces energy harvesting module development kits

Zero-power circuits provide key element in harnessing wasted energy from environmental sources and supplying power to wireless sensor applications
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - July 8, 2008 - Advanced Linear Devices Inc., a design innovation leader in analog semiconductors, today announced the availability of energy harvesting module development kits for system designers looking to develop alternative power sources to supply a range of low-power wireless sensor applications. The kits provide an assortment of components and electronic circuitry that enables the capture and storage of electrical energy generated from ambient energy sources such as light, vibration, heat, chemical reaction, air and fluid flow.

Energy harvesting modules supply power to circuits for intermittent duty cycle operations, such as sensor networks and wireless applications. The ALD Energy Harvesting development kits are designed to simplify the evaluation process and technology of harvesting energy for practical implementation. Each kit comes with two of ALD's proven EPAD energy harvesting modules as well as cables and connectors that will link to power sources and applications.

"The field of energy harvesting is in its nascent stages but all applications will need a way to capture and store the energy that is generated," said Bob Chao, President and CEO of Advanced Linear Devices. "The development kits are intended to provide designers with a head start by providing the electronic circuitry that serves a crucial role in a complete energy harvesting system. In turn, it will allow designers to focus on areas of their core expertise and bring new possibilities to the forefront."

The ALD EH301-Kit contains the ALD EH301 and ALD EH301A EPAD® Energy Harvesting Modules™ designed for applications that require 3.3V to 5.2V power supply. The ALD EH300-Kit contains the ALD EH300 and ALD EH300A EPAD Energy Harvesting Modules™ for applications that require 1.8V to 3.6V power supply. All ALD EH300 series Energy Harvesting Modules are designed specifically to capture, accumulate, and store electrical power from a variety of wasted energy sources. The outstanding energy efficiency of the modules is designed to make energy harvesting a reliable and long-lasting source of power and can help unshackle many applications from the constraints of battery or AC power sources.

The EH300 series modules accept energy from an assortment of widely available waste energy sources such as piezoelectric generators, thermoelectric generators and others. ALD Energy Harvesting Modules are completely self-powered, always in the active mode, and are always ready to harvest energy from sources that generate intermittent energy impulses with varying source impedances. The modules begin operating from 0.0V and operate at near zero power to ensure that even the most miniscule energy charges can be captured, stored and used for the application. The zero-power operation of the circuit ensures that very little of the energy is squandered on the module's own operation. The modules are also designed to store and manage the energy for extended periods of time with minimal leakage or loss, so that power is supplied to the application when it is most needed.

Circuits built with conventional, off-the-shelf components are often incapable of providing the energy efficiency needed to make energy harvesting a practical solution. Building circuits with conventional components usually requires significantly more electrical energy to operate both the circuit and the application. The power generated by piezoelectric or thermoelectric materials, for example, often occurs at infrequent or random intervals and is usually not sufficient to directly and dependably power both the circuitry and the application.

ALD Energy Harvesting Modules utilize the company's patented EPAD® technology to deliver near zero-power operation. This allows the power generated by energy harvesting sources to go almost entirely to the application. These characteristics make EPAD devices ideally suited for the circuits needed to serve as the link between energy harvesting sources and ultra-low power applications.

The EH300 Series modules can accept input voltages ranging from 0.0V to +/-500V AC or DC and input currents from 200nA to 400mA. Full functionality of the EH300/EH300A series modules requires 4.00V and 200nA/500nA minimum. The EH300 is a 4.6mJ module with 1.8V to 3.6V output, intended for supporting ZigBee type of wireless standard transmission. The EH300A has a useful energy output of 30mJ, which provides energy for higher power, extended range transmission. The EH300 Kit is available for $120.00.

The EH301 has a useful energy output of 8.3mJ module and an output on-time rating of 80msec@25mA. The EH301A has a useful energy output of 55mJ and an output on-time rating of 88msec@150mA. The EH301 Kits is available for $120.00.

About Advanced Linear Devices, Inc. Advanced Linear Devices Inc. (ALD) is a design innovation leader in analog semiconductors specializing in the development and manufacture of precision CMOS linear integrated circuits, including analog switches, A/D converters and chipsets, voltage comparators, operational amplifiers, analog timers, and conventional and EPAD MOSFET transistors. ALD also offers unique board level products such as digital voltmeters and energy harvesting modules, featuring its own proprietary IC technology.

ALD was founded in 1985 with a commitment to bridge technology gaps by providing analog semiconductor solutions to the challenges facing OEM design engineers in the industrial controls, military, automotive, security, and medical instrumentation markets. ALD is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., with distributors throughout the U.S. and Europe.