Gadgets

Telink, Nowi Release Extremely-Built-in Power-Harvesting Module for Good, Sustainable Devices

Telink and Nowi have announced a joint product launch, for an Energy Autonomous Wireless Connectivity Module — a device that takes the former’s multi-protocol communications system-on-chip (SoC) and combines it with the latter’s harvesting-focused power management integrated circuit ( PMIC).

The Telink TLSR8273-M-EH, brought to our attention by CNX Software, is designed as a multi-protocol module with an unspecified 32-bit RISC microcontroller running at up to 48MHz with 64kB of static RAM (SRAM) and 512kB of flash storage — though, the company warns, only 32kB of the SRAM is retained at the lowest power-saving mode of 2.5µA. The chip at the heart of the module also includes accelerators for AES and elliptic curve cryptography alongside a true random-number generator.

Elsehwere in the chip is radio hardware Bluetooth 5.1 Low Energy (BLE) with Bluetooth Mesh and Angle of Arrival/Angle of Departure (AoA/AoD) direction sensing, 802.15.4 for Zigbee, RF4CE, 6LoWPAN, and Thread, plus support for proprietary 2.4GHz protocols. There are I2S and USB inputs for audio, a stereo audio output, up to 32 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins with up to six channels supporting differential pulse-width modulation (PWM), an infrared transmitter, SPI and I2C buses , a UART bus with hardware flow control, and USB 2.0.

For power, the module is designed for use with either a non-rechargeable battery, a battery charging from USB, or a supercapacitor; those using either of the latter two power sources can take advantage of Nowi’s energy-harvesting capabilities, offering support for all direct current harvesting sources including radio-frequency, motion, solar, and heat and ensuring the battery remains topped-up and ready for use .

“Thanks to the compact size and unique design of Nowi chipsets,” the companies claim of the launch, “the bill of material is significantly reduced. With a minimum need for external components (no inductors required) and their integration of both energy harvesting and power management features, the assembly size is also greatly reduced, which makes for a more cost-effective and smaller module.”

Telink has confirmed that the TLSR8273-M-EH is now available, but had not disclosed pricing; more information is available in the module’s PDF-format datasheetwhile customers can request access to a reference design for a battery-free TV remote, which harvests energy from indoor lighting.

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