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Energy Harvesting PMICs

What is Energy Harvesting?

Energy harvesting is the process by which energy is derived from external sources (e.g. solar or light energy, thermal energy, and kinetic energy) and stored for small, wireless autonomous devices like those used in Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSNs).

Energy Harvesting Devices (EHDs) provide a very small amount of power for low-energy electronics. Solar modules are the most popular EHDs, since they are readily available, easy to use, and low cost. The power generated is proportional to the the size of module and varies with brightness. Piezoelectric and electromagnetic EHDs generate AC power from kinetic energy such as vibration. They can generate large amounts of power with high voltage, but the challenge for these EHDs is to provide a vibration source of constant predictable frequency. Because of this, a typical application for a vibration EHD is attaching to a motor. A thermoelectric generator (TEG) can generate power with high current from heat. Similar to the vibration EHD, you have to ensure a constant temperature gradient for this device to provide usable power.

Energy Harvesting Power Management ICs (PMICs)

An Energy Harvesting PMIC is part of an Energy Harvesting System (EHS) that includes the EHD and a Storage Device. The PMIC receives the intermittent, very low-energy generated by the EHD and transforms that energy for storage in the Storage Device. The Storage Device, which is typically a battery, conventional capacitor, or supercapacitor, then is connected to the rest of the system, providing the power needed to operate.

The Energy Harvesting PMIC provides the following capabilities:

  • Receives the intermittent, very low- energy from the EHD and transforms that extracted power into energy for the Storage Device. Depending on the type of EHD, the PMIC offers buck, boost, or linear DC/DC conversion.
  • Manages the outflow of power from the Storage Device, while ensuring that power is not drawn when the stored energy is below a threshold value.
  • Manages its own start-up sequence when sufficient energy is present.

Cypress has a full line of Energy Harvesting PMICs that are tailored to different application requirements.

Energy Harvesting PMIC Overview s6ae101as6ae101as6ae102as6ae103amb39c811mb39c811mb39c811mb39c831mb39c811mb39c811mb39c831


S6AE10xA Solar-Optimized Energy Harvesting Power Management IC (PMIC) Family

The S6AE10xA family of Energy Harvesting Power Management Integrated Circuits enable tiny, solar-powered wireless sensors for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The devices are the world’s lowest-power, single-chip Energy Harvesting PMICs, and can be used with solar cells as small as 1 cm2. The devices are fully integrated, making them ideal for battery-less Wireless Sensor Nodes (WSNs) that monitor physical and environmental conditions for smart homes, commercial buildings, factories, infrastructure and agriculture. Cypress offers a complete, battery-free Energy Harvesting solution that pairs the S6AE101A PMIC, the first device in the family, with the EZ-BLE™ PRoC™ module for Bluetooth® Smart connectivity, along with supporting software, in a $49 development kit that includes everything needed to implement a BLE WSN.

Feature S6AE101A S6AE102A S6AE103A
Power Converter Type Linear Linear Linear
Quiescent Current 250 nA 280 nA 280 nA
Startup Power 1.2 µWmax 1.2 µWmax 1.2 µWmax
Input Voltage Range 2.0 V-5.5 V 2.0 V-5.5 V 2.0 V-5.5 V
Output Voltage Range 1.1 V-5.2 V 1.1 V-5.2 V 1.1 V-5.2 V
Energy Harvesting Device Series solar cell Series solar cell Series solar cell
Multiplexer Yes Yes Yes
No. Power Gating3 Switch 1 2 2
LDO / Quiescent Current No Yes / 400 nA Yes / 400 nA
Hybrid Storage Control Circuit No Yes Yes
CR Timer / Consumption current No No Yes / 30 nA
Comparator / Consumption current No No Yes / 20 nA
Components in BOM 9 16 17
Package 10-pin SON (3 x 3 mm) 20-pin QFN (4 x 4 mm) 24-pin QFN (4 x 4 mm)
Min. Solar Cell Size for Startup Operation 1 cm2 1 cm2 1 cm2
Status Sampling Now
Production Q415
Sampling Now
Production Q415
Sampling Now
Production Q415

S6AE101A Energy Harvesting PMIC

S6AE102A Energy Harvesting PMIC

S6AE103A Energy Harvesting PMIC

$49 Solar-Powered IoT Device Kit

The Solar Powered IoT Device Development Kit provides an easy- to-use platform for the development of a solar-powered IoT device with BLE wireless connectivity. It includes the S6AE101A Energy Harvesting PMIC device. Also included in the kit is Cypress' EZ-BLE™ PRoC™ Module (CYBLE-022001-00), a fully integrated Bluetooth Low Energy module solution that offers high flexibility for a wide variety of IoT device uses. A USB port is provided by Cypress' USB-UART LP Bridge Controller device (CY7C65213).

Solar Powered IoT Device Kit


MB39C8xx General Purpose Energy Harvesting Power Management IC (PMIC) Family

The MB39C811 is the highly efficient buck DC/DC converter IC which adopts the all-wave bridge rectifier using the low- dissipation and the comparator system. It achieves the energy harvest solution for the energy source of the high output impedance such as the piezoelectric transducer.

The MB39C831 is the high-efficiency synchronous rectification boost DC/DC converter IC which efficiently supplies energy getting from the solar cell with the single cell or multiple cells, or from the thermoelectric generator (TEG) to the Li-ion battery. It is possible to start-up from 0.35 V and it contains the function to control the DC/DC converter output following the maximum power point of the solar cell (MPPT: Maximum Power Point Tracking) and the protection function to charge the Li-ion battery safely.

Feature MB39C811 MB39C831
Power Converter Type Buck Boost
Temperature Range -40˚C-+85˚C -40˚C-+85˚C
Quiescent Current1 1.5 µA (VIN = 4.5 V)
1.9 µA (VIN = 18 V)
6.75 µA (VIN = 4.5 V)
32 µA
Input Voltage Range 2.6 V – 23.0 V 0.3 V-4.75 V
Output Voltage (V) 1.5, 1.8, 2.5, 3.3, 3.6, 4.1, 4.5, 5.0 3.0, 3.3, 3.6, 4.1, 4.5, 5.0
Package 40-pin QFN 40-pin QFN
Status Production Production

MB39C811 Energy Harvesting PMIC

MB39C831 Energy Harvesting PMIC

$49 Energy Harvesting Starter Kit for Bluetooth Smart Beacon (Coming Soon)

Engergy Harvesting Starter Kit for Bluetooth Smart Beacon

The $49 Energy Harvesting Starter Kit (MB39C811-EVBSK-02) contains a baseboard and a solar module.

The baseboard includes:

  • MB39C811 Energy Harvesting PMIC
  • Bluetooth Smart module
  • I2C temperature sensor
  • Series solar cell (25 mm x 50 mm) produces 55 μW at 200 Lux (lx)1

1 A unit that measures the level of light emitted (e.g., Moonlight is 1 lx, Office Lighting is ~1,000 lx)