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Thread: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

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    Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Atmosic Technologies is sampling a chip which uses 10x less power than rivals.
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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    So now spies can have bugs out there indefinitely. Cool, governments definitely need that. /s

    I am interested in how this can be used for things like wearables, trackers, etc. If you had one of these fully sealed and tamperproof, they might even have some security applications.

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    skimmed the read, presume by RF it means specifically the bluetooth RF signal, so can not be a host, only client to something?

    Clever to be able to harvest enough energy from the data that its processing though.

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    There were radar powered bugs back in the days of the Soviet Union. In order to make the bug passive and undetectable it would be totally inert until a radar beam was directed at it, when it would harvest the power and begin transmitting.

    I doubt this would be able to function on a normal bluetooth signal but it's quite possible it could work with beam forming and a highish transmit power.

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by rabidmunkee View Post
    Clever to be able to harvest enough energy from the data that its processing though.
    We are awash in WiFi energy in the same band, I expect most of the energy will come from there. It won't know or care.

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rabidmunkee View Post
    Clever to be able to harvest enough energy from the data that its processing though.
    We are awash in WiFi energy in the same band, I expect most of the energy will come from there. It won't know or care.
    Exactly... a decent enough battery cell would enable years of life!
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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    or in a smartwatch for example could enable battery life measure in weeks rather than days...

    mind you the missus has an amazfit Bip and she gets 30 days battery life already
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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    We are awash in WiFi energy in the same band, I expect most of the energy will come from there. It won't know or care.
    You'd need a fairly big antenna to get anything remotely useful from that. The video below by an electrical engineer explains. Calculations start at 2:45.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8s3Xjeg0sk

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    You'd need a fairly big antenna to get anything remotely useful from that. The video below by an electrical engineer explains. Calculations start at 2:45.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8s3Xjeg0sk
    He's talking about charging a battery, and I agree you don't want to do that from normal radio harvesting.

    Here we are talking about low power electronics, this stuff is usually designed to work off a CR2032 button cell which have a good energy density and a shelf life of 7 to 10 years. So if you just leave the thing on a shelf it will slowly lose charge from internal leakage and be dead in 7 years. You can design electronics such that it spends most if its time asleep and draws minute current when awake, so you end up with a system where the battery still lasts 7 years as the cell's self discharge is the dominant factor. The problem with IoT devices is kind of the opposite of that video, it has to transmit to something 1m away and even at a standard bluetooth maximum 10mW the transmit power is painfully large. So these guys say they have reduced the power requirements by 10 times, that gets you down to 1mW max which is near enough to the 0.08mW that the annoying bloke on that video came up with that you can probably turn down the transmit power and get a usable system. Processing and sensing should be peanuts compared to RF power stage requirements, so job done.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    Exactly... a decent enough battery cell would enable years of life!
    As above, a battery cell already gets you 7 years reliable life. The problem is that wall of 7 years is a manufacturing limit, the battery *must* be changed at that point. Rechargable cells would be worse, they would get topped off constantly rather than cycled and they hate that. 500 cycles would probably not take 7 years, keeping it topped off the cell would likely start to gas and die in a couple of years.

    If you can use a capacitor, you do away with requiring a power cell at all.

    Note that all this is only useful for the still largely fictional IoT sensor market. You can't do this with a bluetooth mouse. In fact for a mouse harvesting movement like on a self winding watch would probably make more sense.

    My only doubt with this stuff is whether a small solar cell would be cheaper, easier and more reliable; leaving overnight energy storage as the problem.
    Last edited by DanceswithUnix; 25-10-2018 at 08:16 AM.

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    that gets you down to 1mW max which is near enough to the 0.08mW that the annoying bloke on that video came up with that you can probably turn down the transmit power and get a usable system. Processing and sensing should be peanuts compared to RF power stage requirements, so job done.
    Bear in mind also that whilst there will be several sources of wifi energy but the 0.08mW is at 1 meter and will drop off significantly after that. Odds of you being 1 meter from the source are small. I reckon this will require its own power supply like a cell as above and that it will mean that all you're really doing is making this battery last longer. That or it'll be good for some kind of tagging system where it moves through a dedicated transmit source like with RFID tags or something. The other thing is that he was using a relatively large antennae for the 0.08mW and this thing is being advertised on how small it is. I'm sure there are ways of integrating that into the case of the product but it's an extra manufacturing process.

    As for annoying, this is from when he first started - he's gone even more annoying now he's a dedicated youtuber. He's taken over-enthusiastic Aussie and turned it up to 11.

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    I wonder how much of the power consumed by BT devices is attributable to the Bluetooth chip? While tremendous, we'll need lower power devices coupled with it to be truly remarkable/0 battery life... i mean, what use is a bluetooth chip connected to nothing. granted it could wake things using it's Wake on demand, but batteries still discharge slowly when not in use, so it's of a finite use life....
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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by Tattysnuc View Post
    I wonder how much of the power consumed by BT devices is attributable to the Bluetooth chip? While tremendous, we'll need lower power devices coupled with it to be truly remarkable/0 battery life... i mean, what use is a bluetooth chip connected to nothing. granted it could wake things using it's Wake on demand, but batteries still discharge slowly when not in use, so it's of a finite use life....
    We're moving to bluetooth connectivity for pacemakers (was initially an induction thing, then a bespoke wireless and now bluetooth). I can tell you the typical current draw for a pacemaker can be around 9-15uA. Bloothtooth low energy peak consumption can be sub 15uA hence why it's now usable in pacemakers as the cells can do >40uA. Standard Bluetooth has a peak draw of 30uA.

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by rabidmunkee View Post
    skimmed the read, presume by RF it means specifically the bluetooth RF signal, so can not be a host, only client to something?

    Clever to be able to harvest enough energy from the data that its processing though.
    No... it harvests energy from Wifi, cell phone towers etc. and all other kinds of electromagnetic radiation bombarding our bodies all the time (at least in urban areas like cities).

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    Re: Bluetooth 5 chip designed to work on RF energy

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rabidmunkee View Post
    Clever to be able to harvest enough energy from the data that its processing though.
    We are awash in WiFi energy in the same band, I expect most of the energy will come from there. It won't know or care.
    Exactly... a decent enough battery cell would enable years of life!
    Nope again... the whole idea is that you don't even have to make a battery to power it. After all, a li-ion battery would still wear out after 300-400 cycles. In urban areas at least, the energy harvested should exceed whatever energy required by this Bluetooth 5.0 chip.

    A tiny ultra-capacitor might be a more plausible solution for rural areas where RF energy might be weaker or intermittent though.

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