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Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19081754

Small-Area Radiofrequency-Energy-Harvesting Integrated Circuits for Powering Wireless Sensor Networks

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
2
Research and Development Centre for Smart Textile Technology, National Taipei University of Technology, 1, Sec. 3, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Taipei 10608, Taiwan
3
General Manager Office, Goodfield Technology Co., Ltd., 46, Lane 55, Sec. 3, Zhiyuan Rd., Taipei 11265, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvesting Sensor Systems)
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Abstract

This study presents a radiofrequency (RF)-energy-harvesting integrated circuit (IC) for powering wireless sensor networks with a wireless transmitter with an industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) of 915 MHz. The proposed IC comprises an RF-direct current (DC) rectifier, an over-voltage protection circuit, a low-power low-dropout (LDO) voltage regulator, and a charger control circuit. In the RF-DC rectifier circuit, a six-stage Dickson voltage multiplier circuit is used to improve the received RF signal to a DC voltage by using native MOS with a small threshold voltage. The over-voltage protection circuit is used to prevent a high-voltage breakdown phenomenon from the RF front-end circuit, particularly for near-field communication. A low-power LDO regulator is designed to provide stable voltage by using zero frequency compensation and a voltage-trimming feedback. Charging current is amplified N times by using a current mirror to rapidly and stably charge a battery in the proposed charger control circuit. The obtained results revealed that the maximum power conversion efficiency of the proposed RF-energy-harvesting IC was 40.56% at an input power of −6 dBm, an output voltage of 1.5 V, and a load of 30 kΩ. A chip area of the RF-energy-harvesting IC was 0.58 × 0.49 mm2, including input/output pads, and power consumption was 42 μW. View Full-Text
Keywords: radiofrequency; ISM 915 MHz; energy-harvesting IC; native MOS; Dickson voltage multiplier; over-voltage protection circuit; low-dropout regulator; charger control circuit radiofrequency; ISM 915 MHz; energy-harvesting IC; native MOS; Dickson voltage multiplier; over-voltage protection circuit; low-dropout regulator; charger control circuit
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sung, G.-M.; Chung, C.-K.; Lai, Y.-J.; Syu, J.-Y. Small-Area Radiofrequency-Energy-Harvesting Integrated Circuits for Powering Wireless Sensor Networks. Sensors 2019, 19, 1754.

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