Huawei collaborates with Nowi to combine NB-IoT with energy harvesting tech
Chinese vendor Huawei is collaborating with Dutch semiconductor firm Nowi for the development of a narrowband internet of things solution in which energy harvesting is used to power the NB-IoT system-on-chip indefinitely through a new PMIC and attached solar panel, Huawei said in a release.
Huawei said this new offering removes the need for manual intervention or cabling to supply power in applications, with zero maintenance and zero power supply.
The new solution was showcased last week during the Mobile World Congress 2019 Shanghai.
The NB-IoT solution uses a Huawei Boudica V150 development board which enables plug-and-play of various sensors and peripherals alongside the integrated V150 NB-IoT SoC.
The two partners highlighted that power has proven to be a bottleneck in the adoption of many IoT applications, with battery maintenance or power cabling reducing the ROI of an IoT system significantly.
Battery life in many use cases is shorter than the application life, thus requiring maintenance during system usage and thereby greatly increasing IoT total cost of ownership. Additionally, IoT nodes are often distributed in remote or difficult to access areas, making cables impossible and changing batteries even more expensive.
Nowi has been focusing on the development of energy harvesting technology that enables capturing of ambient energy sources such as light, temperature gradients or radio frequency. Nowi’s energy harvesting technology can both power and fit into virtually any small IoT device, or even in RF modems directly.
“Huawei is dedicated to achieving a fully connected, intelligent world and as a pioneer in low power wireless chip technology, we see energy harvesting as a key component in achieving ubiquitous connectivity for our customers. We are, therefore excited to be working with Nowi in this area,” said Charles Sturman, senior director of IoT product marketing at Huawei Technologies.
“The Boudica V150 NB-IoT SoC is an IoT communications device integrating modem, radio, power management, application subsystem and dedicated security core in a single chip. With only a few required external components, it enables low system cost and is able to support all of the global NB-IoT frequencies whilst operating direct-from-battery with ultra-low current draw,” said Simon van der Jagt, CEO of Nowi. “As such, it is the ideal device to be paired with our energy harvesting technology to achieve power autonomy without sacrificing functionality.
“The low-power design of the Boudica V150 chip together with the high energy harvesting efficiency of the Nowi PMIC make it possible to harvest sufficient energy for frequent NB-IoT transmissions, allowing autonomous connectivity for up to 15 years. That means no more cables or battery changes needed,” he added.