Matrix Industries and Torex Team Up to Spread Energy Harvesting

September 16, 2019 by Paul Shepard

Matrix Industries and Torex Semiconductor Ltd. today announced the formation of a co-marketing and co-product development relationship aimed at increasing product adoption in the Internet-of-things (IoT), wearables and energy harvesting applications worldwide. The agreement allows Matrix and Torex to work together to develop the solutions, including an energy harvesting reference design for sensors to combine Matrix expertise in thermoelectric material science and thermal engineering and Torex expertise in low power consumption and energy efficient power management technologies and line-up the innovative products for battery-less and low powered applications.

This development follows last weeks' announcement that Atmosic™ Technologies and Matrix Industries have entered a partnership to provide the lowest-power connected thermoelectric solutions for industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and consumer IoT devices. Atmosic and Matrix will collaborate with leading industrial and consumer device customers to implement connected solutions powered through thermoelectric and other energy harvesting techniques for a new level of efficiency and productivity.

"By partnering with Torex, Matrix can more effectively address the needs and challenges to spread energy harvesting all over the world. Benefitting from on-the-ground knowledge and insight, we may capture first mover advantage in introducing the innovative products to meet evolving demands unique to battery-less and low powered applications," commented Dr. Akram Boukai, CEO of Matrix.

"We are honored to be chosen by Matrix as a strategic technology and marketing partner and are pleased to be working with innovative thermoelectric leader to connect our customers to cutting edge technologies and to spread energy harvesting." said Mr. Koji Shibamiya, President of Torex. "We are also excited to see Torex products gain visibility on a global scale. We believe our products, which can be utilized in IoT, wearable and battery powered applications, will quickly gain adoption worldwide."

Matrix and Torex provide a complete off the shelf reference for Watt Smart Farming and Industrial IoT applications. This reference design uses a Matrix's PowerTile, a Thermo-Electric-Generator based power source, Matrix's Mercury energy harvesting IC and power management solutions from Torex to harvest energy to power IoT devices and eliminate the needs to change batteries.

Mercury Energy Harvesting Boost Converter

The Mercury energy harvesting boost converter is claimed to be the world's smallest energy harvesting boost converter with the highest conversion efficiency. It's a nanopower energy harvesting synchronous boost with microwatt cold-start, input impedance matching and regulated out.

(click on image to enlarge)

The Mercury energy harvesting boost converter provides:

  • A new low to lead a new era of energy harvesting
    • VIN as low as 10mV (VOC = 20mV, RIN = 5Ω) to VOUT of up to 5V
    • VIN as low as 6mV (VOC = 12mV, RIN = 5Ω) to VOUT of 3V
    • Ultra-low quiescent current of 700nA ensures the fastest possible charge times of the output reservoir capacitor
    • Cold-start with VOC = 16mV (RIN = 5Ω, 1:100 transformer)
  • A new high of efficiency to maximize power transfer
    • Up to 80% peak conversion efficiency
    • Near-ideal impedance matching with input source
  • Minimized power leakage with active input monitoring
    • Built-in VOC monitoring through an 8-bit ADC
    • True shutdown by disconnecting output when VOC is below startup requirement securing zero power leakage
  • Miniaturized solution size
    • Three external components: input and output capacitor, a transformer
    • Optional Schottky diode for efficiency improvement
    • Compact WLP package available