HiSilicon & Nowi Introduce Energy Autonomous NB-IoT Platform: a Power-free Solution in the Smallest Size Possible

HiSilicon & Nowi Introduce Energy Autonomous NB-IoT Platform: a Power-free Solution in the Smallest Size Possible

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HiSilicon and Nowi’s continued collaboration has led to a 2nd generation Energy Autonomous NB-IoT platform optimised for ease-of-use and form factor. New Internet of Things applications are now possible, where physical size is limited and ‘Plug & Forget’ indefinite operation is required.

HiSilicon (Shanghai) Ltd and Nowi Energy B.V. today showcased the 2nd generation of their Energy Autonomous NB-IoT platform. The device acts as a sensor hub that can transmit via NB-IoT while operating indefinitely through its energy harvesting capabilities. It is based on HiSilicon’s Hi2115 NB-IoT solution and Nowi’s leading NH2 energy harvesting power management IC. The solution removes the need for manual intervention (changing batteries) or cabling to supply power in applications that become zero maintenance.

Building upon the success of the 2019 collaboration (link), HiSilicon and Nowi have optimized the design to resolve customers’ challenges and satisfy new, stricter market requirements to broaden the variety of applications addressed. The platform combines connectivity and energy harvesting in the smallest size possible and offers an open slot on which various sensors can be placed depending on the application need. As such the platform can act as the backbone of countless connected sensor solutions.

HiSilicon and Nowi are offering the reference design and the corresponding schematics for others to build their solutions upon.

Charles Sturman, Senior Director Product Marketing at HiSilicon said

“Many IoT applications require super long deployment lifecycles and direct power connectivity is often not possible. As such, energy autonomy is becoming an important factor. Our collaboration with Nowi addresses these demands as their next-generation NH2 device reaches efficiency and size targets which are changing the rule-book on Energy Harvesting. At HiSilicon, we aim towards a fully connected, intelligent world and such partnerships are crucial to achieve this vision. “

The Energy Autonomous NB-IoT V2 Platform solves multiple challenges:

  • Provides a ‘Plug & Forget’ solution capable of multiple transmissions per day indefinitely
  • Offers a platform that can be tailored to fit many sensor applications with minimal effort
  • Enables applications that were previously unable to use NB-IoT with energy harvesting due to size constraints
  • Enables both indoor and outdoor applications

Simon van der Jagt, CEO Nowi said

“From industrial IoT to Smart Home applications we see a strong need for ease-of-use, reduction in device maintenance and small form factor solutions. As such, integrated energy harvesting solutions are playing a key role in the future of connectivity. Nowi’s energy harvesting power management technology uniquely offers these advantages owing to its extremely small PCB assembly footprint, top energy harvesting performance and ease of implementation. We are excited to team up with HiSilicon and help customers on their way by offering the schematics of this new reference design platform. Nowi’s NH2 PMIC is becoming available in Q4 of 2020 for high volume customers.”

The 2nd generation Energy Autonomous NB-IoT board has a significantly decreased PCB size and bill of materials. This powerful new design enables new IoT applications that require continuous operation and have fundamental constraints in form factor.

Technical Specifications:

  • 3 Transmissions per day in indoor conditions*
  • 6 Transmissions per day in outdoor conditions*
  • Can operate with a range of photovoltaic (multiple) cells
  • Dimensions: 5.5cm x 3.5cm

* Depending on the size of PV

Mike is the founder and editor of Electronics-Lab.com, an electronics engineering community/news and project sharing platform. He studied Electronics and Physics and enjoys everything that has moving electrons and fun. His interests lying on solar cells, microcontrollers and switchmode power supplies. Feel free to reach him for feedback, random tips or just to say hello :-)

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