Bluetooth without batteries

Is there a future where Bluetooth will no longer need batteries? If you asked Atmosic Technologies, they would say that we are closer than you think.

Founded by David Su, David Nakahira, and Masoud Zagari back in 2016, the semiconductor supplier recently announced plans to release two new Bluetooth 5 low-power chip platforms onto the market. It is, in short, a step towards easing the electronics industry’s reliance on batteries.

In Pursuit of a Forever Battery

In a press release, Atmosic outlined its plans to deliver forever battery life and battery-free IoT.

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“With its team of wireless industry experts who previously pioneered CMOS RF design and successfully delivered billions of high-performance, connected devices, Atmosic is focused on bringing its vision of a battery-free IoT to reality,” says the release.

“The company is developing solutions to enable forever battery life to combat the tremendous effort, cost and ecological impact associated with battery maintenance for billions of connected devices.”

How does Atmosic hope to achieve this? Atmosic’s press release outlines three different technologies: Lowest Power Radio, On-demand Wake-up, and Controlled Energy Harvesting. Lowering the power on small devices that do not need to routinely push a data signal out will have a direct impact on power output. Atmosic’s Bluetooth 5 platforms operate with on-demand wake-up times. This allows the chip to keep its power levels low enough so that when it receives signals from other devices, it can wake up with minimal power usage via RF energy.

Atmosic’s M2 Series Bluetooth 5 SoC contains the Lowest Power Radio which delivers 5 to 10 times lower power along with on-demand wake-up which reduces power by 10 to 100 times. The company’s M3 Series Bluetooth 5 SoC features the Controlled Energy Harvesting that delivers the aforementioned forever battery.

Forever Battery to Solve a Host of IoT Problems

The press release states that Atmosic’s first rollout will look to solve the myriad challenges that come with maintaining IoT devices. These devices include beacons, controllers, remotes, asset, and fitness trackers.

“By 2023, the installed base for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC connected devices will be more than 35 billion worldwide, with a growing percentage targeting IoT applications,” says Andrew Zignani, senior research analyst of ABI research. “Atmosic’s fresh approach to low power technologies and vision of a battery-free IoT may solve some of the key pain points of IoT.

Atmosic has raised $21 million in its Series A/A1 financing. Its Bluetooth solutions are currently available for sampling and are forecast to be in volume production by Q2 of 2019.

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