An integrated circuit to null standby using energy provided by MEMS sensors

Roberto La Rosa, A. Y. S. Pandiyan, Carlo Trigona, Bruno Andò, Salvatore Baglio


The advent of smart measurement systems and innovative wireless sensor networks evinces the necessity to develop novel solutions for conditioning circuits to be used in autonomous or quasi autonomous measurement systems and sensing nodes. The main problem these systems still face is the question of how to supply the nodes in a cost-effective way, considering that, very often, a battery is required, and consequently, the maintenance labor and cost to replace or recharge it may be high. The main target is to increase battery lifetime by decreasing unnecessary energy consumption as much as possible. In this context, several solutions, including energy harvesters, have already been proposed. One of the main solutions is the reduction of power consumption by the measurement device while in standby, which, in most cases, represents a significant amount of the total power dissipation. To this end, authors have already addressed a zero-energy standby solution able to supply the power requested by the measurement equipment only when the appliance is turned on. In this paper, we present an integrated circuit solution suitable to be used with MEMS scale transducers. The validation and the characterisation of the system will be shown to demonstrate the suitability of the proposed method.

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