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Low Power News, December 13, 2013

If you’re planning on attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January and you have a gamer in the family, you should check out the Sixense 3D ‘STEM System’ game controller.  The Sixense device dispenses with the usual accelerometers and camera tracking control devices in favor of an electromagnetic tracking system that can monitor up to five controller models, (two feet, two hands, one head… hopefully).  Think of it as a marriage between a game controller and a theremin.  The ultra-low power RF communications via bluetooth for all the sensor channels is provided by Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF51822, which sports an ARM Cortex processor and peak radio currents below 10 mA using a 3 V supply.

ST Microelectronics announced they are sampling a new energy harvesting IC, the SPV1050.  It features a buck-boost converter that allows for harvested energy input voltages from 180 mV up to 8V.  It sports an average operating efficiency of 90% and can be programmed via resistor based voltage dividers to tailor its functionality to the battery chemistry of specific applications.  Evaluation boards are available:

As an Arduino hobbyist, this news story caught my eye.  Silicon Labs of Austin, TX has announced the availability of their newest USB to SPI converter, the CP2130.  The device features support for Windows, OSX, and Linux operating systems.  The CP2130 can communicate with up to 11 SPI devices and provides up to 6.6 Mbps read throughput and 5.8 Mbps write throughput.  Evaluation boards are available now for $20 US.  With the variety of configurable evaluation boards and Arduino type project boards available now, it seems like the pieces are falling into place for a new golden age of tech savvy, tech literate customers, (an engineer can dream at any rate).

For a more touch-feely look at Silicon Labs check out their blog post this week detailing how their three founders performed complex decision analysis prior to taking the entrepreneurial plunge.

If, like me, 4G LTE just finally made it to your area, you might be interested/perplexed to know that the vision of 5G is already in the works.  Find out what Alcatel-Lucent and university researchers think the future holds.  You can read the executive summary, or go directly to the open access article.

One Response to “Low Power News, December 13, 2013”

  1. Is the Golden Age of Builders Returning? | The Canonical Hamiltonian Says:

    [...] item from this week’s low-power news, however, gives me hope that we’re one step closer to being able to source our own devices [...]

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