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TI sampling energy harvesting development kit

LONDON — Texas Instruments has started sampling a solar energy harvesting wireless sensor development kit that converts ambient light into power for industrial, transportation, agricultural and commercial applications.

Dubbed the eZ430-RF2500-SEH and costing $149, the kit combines TI's MSP430 MCU, a CC2500 RF transceiver and eZ430-RF2500 tool with Cymbet Corporation's Enerchip thin-film battery technology.

It will allow developers to build self-powered, solar-based wireless sensor networks that offer more efficient storage, processing and transmission in both bright and low light environments, while eliminating system batteries that cost time and money to replace.

The kit offers OEMs and ODMs an efficient solar panel connected through the EnerChip energy harvesting module to run a wireless application even under low ambient light. The EnerChip solid-state lithium thin-film battery is said to increase conversion efficiencies when storing and starting power in energy harvesting modules.

The companies say the rechargeable devices can send up to 400 transmissions from a single charge when no ambient light is available.

TI's USB-based eZ430-RF2500 tool provides hardware and software to program the low-power MSP430 MCU and wireless transceiver. The MCU's fast wake-up time and system-on-chip peripheral integration is said to save on board space while enabling maintenance-free, self-powered sensors.

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