Energy Efficient Power Converter for IoT Devised By Researchers

Businesses that want to be leaders in the "internet of things" (IoT) should invest in a power converter, technology for online data generation and IT professionals who understand wireless networks. As IoT become more widespread, the delivery of big data will rely on sensors that operate at low energy levels. Here's a more in-depth look at how power converters play an essential role in IoT technology.

Purpose of Power Converters The main reason for a power converter, technology that changes voltage or frequency, is to control energy in some way, such as stepping power up or down. Power converters are useful for converting DC and AC power. Typical power converters consume the amount of current they pull, while newer models can maintain efficiency over a broad spectrum of currents.

Next Generation Power Converters A new innovative power converter has been funded by a partnership that consists of Shell, Texas Instruments, and Taiwan Semiconductor. Researchers Arun Paidimarri and Anantha Chandrakasan from MIT's Microsystems Technologies Laboratories (MTL) presented the new step-down converter (output voltage decreases from input voltage). The technology is based on energy packets controlled by switches with sensors that monitor output levels. When the voltage reaches a certain level, the controllers activate a switch that releases energy.

A system that makes voltage measurements consumes energy, while Paidimarri and Chandrakasan's converter can release up to a million packets per second. One of the unique characteristics of the device is that it contains a voltage divider, which is a circuit that monitors the output voltage, diverting a small amount of current from the output to conduct a measurement.

The new converter delivers a 50% decrease in quiescent power, which is the power consumed when no current is provided to the load. A low dormant power state is ideal for converters. The development opens up the possibilities of testing new energy-harvesting technology.

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