Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Microsystems Technologies Laboratories recently unveiled a power converter that stays efficient at currents between 500 picoamps and 1 milliamp, representing a 2-million-fold boost.
The converter has a lower output voltage than input voltage, making its use for Internet of Things devices possible.
Developer Arun Paidimarri says the converter functions using packets of energy and not a continuous stream, so operation is conducted by turning switches on and off. The switches' control hardware features a circuit that measures the converter's output voltage, and if that voltage is below a certain threshold, the controllers flip a switch and release an energy packet. They then execute another measurement and, if required, release another packet.
The converter has a variable clock running the switch controllers at a broad range of rates, while a voltage divider enclosed by a block of circuit elements can halve quiescent power.
From MIT News
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