Cypress Semiconductor Corp. introduced a new kit with a complete reference design for a tiny, battery-free sensor beacon for a broad range of fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CYALKIT-E02 Solar-Powered BLE Sensor Beacon Reference Design Kit provides an easy-to-use platform for the development of a solar-powered Wireless Sensor Node (WSN) that can sense the temperature and humidity around its location and transmit the data using Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. The reference sensor beacon, which is 25 mm in diameter—the size of a U.S. quarter, can be placed and left to operate without maintenance for battery changes, making it ideal to monitor environmental conditions in smart home, commercial building, factory and agriculture settings. The kit is available now for pre-order for $49.
The WSN IoT device market is expected to grow to more than 5 billion units by 2020, putting a premium on battery-free implementations to reduce cost and maintenance problems. The placement of a WSN may limit its size and the amount of light available, thereby limiting the size and power output of the solar module and the startup power available. The tiny new reference design integrates Cypress’s Energy Harvesting Power Management Integrated Circuits (PMICs), EZ-BLE PRoC Bluetooth Low Energy module and a 15mm-by-15mm solar cell that enable operation using as little as 100 lux of ambient light—less light than a typical warehouse aisle receives. The kit contains the solar-powered BLE sensor beacon, a BLE-USB Bridge and Debug Board that can be connected to a host PC via a USB interface to receive sensor data and for on-chip debugging of the sensor beacon. Cypress also offers the CYALKIT-E03 expansion pack, which includes five solar-powered BLE sensor beacons, for $99.
“Our solar-powered BLE sensor beacon reference design kit features robust, low-power sensing and wireless connectivity in a small form factor that can be easily deployed for more than a decade with no maintenance costs, addressing the most significant design challenges facing the expected rapid growth of industrial IoT devices,” said Kiyoe Nagaya, vice president of the Analog Business Unit at Cypress. “End customers can get to market quickly using the reference design as a mass production model that can be easily programmed and optimized for a diverse range of innovative applications.”
The CYALKIT-E02/CYALKIT-E03 kit comes with the Cypress BLE-Beacon app for iOS, Android and PCs, enabling users to receive and visualize sensor data transmitted by the sensor beacon as a 2D/3D graph visualization or to export the data. Cypress is demonstrating the beacon reference design, along with its PSoC, FM Flexible MCU and Bluetooth Low Energy solutions at Sensors Expo from June 22 to 23 in booth 416 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.
The Cypress S6AE103A Energy Harvesting PMIC device operates with startup power of 1.2uW—4x lower than the nearest competitor—and consumption current as low as 280nA, maximizing the power available for the sensing, processing and communications functions of a target application. The fully-certified, small-form-factor CYBLE-022001-00 EZ-BLE PRoC module, which is based on Cypress’s PRoC BLE Programmable Radio-on-Chip solution, works with the PMIC devices to contribute to the low power and ease-of-use of an energy harvesting system solution.
About Cypress’s Award-winning Energy Harvesting PMICs
Cypress PMICs enable efficient harvesting from ambient light, vibrations and thermal variations, and offer dual inputs from two sources simultaneously, making them a reliable, flexible option to fully power or extend the battery life in IoT applications.
The Cypress energy harvesting PMICs have received several industry awards, including:
- The 2015 Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Award for Energy Technology, presented by EDN and EE Times.
- The Product of the Year Award for the MB39C811 PMIC from the Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards in March 2015.
- The Emerging Technology Award, Second Place in M2M, IoT, Sensors, RFID & NFC for the ultra-low-power buck PMIC for solar and vibrations energy harvesting, MB39C811 from CTIA in 2014.
- The Green IT Award program for energy harvesting solutions from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan in 2013.
Availability and Design Tools
The Cypress CYALKIT-E02 Solar-Powered BLE Sensor Beacon Reference Design Kit can be pre-ordered for$49, and the CYALKIT-E03 Sensor Beacon Expansion Pack can be pre-ordered for $99. Both kits will be available in July 2016. Cypress PMICs are supported by the free, comprehensive Easy DesignSim Web-based simulation tool used to validate Energy Harvesting System designs, including the bill-of-materials, schematic and the power consumed (μW) by the sensing, processing and communications functions of a target application.
To learn more, go to www.cypress.com.