Research Projects

Integrated Power Management for Wireless Sensor Nodes (ActiveRFID)

Mervin John, Jan M. Rabaey and Seth R. Sanders

Semiconductor Research Corporation

A representative wireless sensor node contains sensing functions (eg, temperature, pressure, acceleration, strain, chemical, etc.), wireless communication capability, supervisory management, an energy/power source, energy storage, and associated energy/power conversion and management functionality. This research explores the analysis and design issues surrounding integrated CMOS based power conversion and management techniques required in such a wireless sensor device. Fully-integrated switched capacitor DC-DC converters, with no external magnetics, are ideally suited for these types of centimeter and millimeter-scale applications. This research explores techniques for achieving high efficiency over a wide power range (~1uA->~10mA) using minimal die area for the on-chip capacitors.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Power Management Architecture for Active RFID Tag

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Figure 2: Duty-Cycle sequence

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