Powercast Corporation, a leader in radio-frequency (RF)-based over-the-air wireless power technology, has created a unique cellular-based RF Power-Over-Distance Wireless Charging Platform, built around Sequans Monarch cellular IoT connectivity technology. Powercast demonstrated the solution at Mobile World Congress in Las Vegas last week.
Operating in the lower 600 – 900 MHz frequency bands licensed by mobile carriers, the Powercast cellular-based RF Wireless Charging Platform has unique benefits:
- Because cellular bands are licensed, or private, they have more flexibility on how much power they can transmit, antenna gain, and bandwidth which enables end devices to charge faster and at greater distances when compared to unlicensed, or public, bands.
- As cellular service moves increasingly to higher frequencies like 5G to increase data throughput, carriers can monetize their underused low frequency bands and offer "Power as a Service."
- Ability to simultaneously charge at-a-distance many consumer devices, such as smart home security and automation IoT sensors, TV remotes, keyboards, ear buds, headphones, smart watches, fitness bands and hearing aids.
"Because many RF transmitting devices operate in unlicensed bands such as the 915 MHz band, there are limits on transmit power, antenna gain, and other parameters so many devices can coexist and be interoperable," said Charles Greene, PhD, COO and CTO of Powercast. "This innovative way to use licensed cellular frequencies to increase device charging power will allow manufacturers to create green, sustainable IoT devices that can charge more quickly and at longer distances from a cellular RF transmitter."
The platform combines Sequans' Monarch 2 GM02S module with a Powercast RF transmitting antenna to send RF over-the-air to a tiny Powercast PCC110 Powerharvester® receiver chip embedded in end devices. The Powerharvester harvests RF out of the air and converts it to DC (direct current) to either power a battery-free device, or charge a rechargeable battery, both of which keep disposable batteries out of landfills.
In the Mobile World Congress demo, a Sequans Monarch 2 cellular modem uses Powercast's 700 MHz antenna to transmit a 700 MHz RF cellular signal to Powercast's PCC110 receiver and RF-to-DC converter chip, which then powers a battery-free sensor beacon to transmit temperature and humidity data to a gateway or phone.
"This collaborative effort to introduce cellular technology into the over-the-air RF wireless charging picture creates opportunities for more manufacturers to develop environmentally-friendly smart home IoT ecosystems that eliminate disposable batteries," said Louis Chuang, EVP and GM of the Massive IoT Business Unit of Sequans. "With cellular everywhere, the opportunities are endless. Powercast is pioneering this field, and shares Sequans' vision to make IoT more sustainable by integrating an increasing number of functionalities, and limiting the semiconductor carbon footprint."
Click here to learn more about Sequans; Monarch 2 GM02S Module.
Click here to learn more about Powercast's PCC110 Powerharvester chip.