Sol Chip’s IoT platform provides low-power communication module, with self-sustaining solar energy technology.
The Internet of Things calls for a lot of wireless devices, which in turn require wireless connection and power in order to operate. Typically speaking, wireless gadgetry is powered predominantly by batteries with limited life expectancy that inevitably deplete over time and need replacement. If we can get these devices to communicate with each other without the inconvenience of wires and installations, why can’t we do the same when it comes to powering them? Luckily, one company has already thought of a solution.
Meet Sol Chip — an Israeli startup that specializes in energy harvesting and communication platforms solutions for the IoT — who has created a power management unit that yields light energy to supply continuous and sustainable energy and communication of sensors’ data. The Sol Chip Com (SCC-M433) is a new autonomous monitoring platform that will eliminate the need to carry out maintenance procedures performed on battery-operated systems. Operable in sunlight and low-light environments, the batteries are a result of the cross pollination of solar cell and microchip technologies.
Not surprisingly, Sol Chip is driven by Atmel’s extremely low-powered MCUs (ATXmega32D3 and ATXmega32E5) in each of its various products. Specifically, the SCC-M433 features a solar battery with more than 10 years of maintenance-free operation, a network of wireless mesh nodes for coverage ranging up to 1,500 meters and 433Mdz radio frequency for outdoor applications.
Based on a patented IP, SCC-M433 integrates all required components into a single unit to operate 24 hours a day during summer and winter. Once an analog or digital sensor is connected the SCC-M433, data can be transferred to the cloud, allowing a user to keep tabs on and analyze the information. Sol Chip’s technology utilizes a low-cost manufacturing flow, thereby increasing overall efficiency while reducing operation costs by 60%.
“Extreme low-power microcontrollers enable us to design new cutting edge technology and be the leaders in our industry,” explains Dr. Shani Keysar, Sol Chip’s founder and CEO.
The product design was initially derived from a smart irrigation system that enabled growers to achieve higher yields, while diminishing the amount of water, cutting resource consumption and decreasing costs. Sol Chip’s more recent technology can easily fit other use cases where wireless mesh network is necessary, such as smart cities, structural health monitoring and asset tracking.
Intrigued? You can check out Sol Chip’s solar batteries and various applications here.