I recently wrote about energy harvesting applications (Energy Harvesting Applications: The New Frontier and The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Repair) and very low threshold MOSFETs (Very Low Gate Threshold FET – Maybe Too Low?). In an example of how all these pieces fit together and of how great minds think alike, without any planning on our part, my colleague Steve Taranovich wrote about a new IC from Linear Technology (LTC), the LTC3588-1. It's an IC intended to work with a piezo-bender to harvest small amounts of electro-mechanical energy.
LTC suggests usages that sound familiar if you read my other blogs:
- Wireless HVAC Sensors
- Mobile Asset Tracking
- Tire Pressure Sensors
- Battery Replacement for Industrial Sensors
- Remote Light Switches
This is considerably more sophisticated than the circuitry that makes your sneakers flash when you run. Here's what it looks like from the outside:
And here's what's going on inside:
This is a sweet part that can be directly applicable to just what I described before. For more details, check Steve's article on EDN: Piezo-MEMS enables wireless sensor networks.