Texas Instruments has introduced what it claims the industry’s lowest power DC/DC step-down converter, an ultra-low power circuit enables battery-free power to applications, such as wireless sensor networks, monitoring systems, smoke detectors, wearable medical devices and mobile accessories.
TI’s TPS62736 DC/DC converter delivers 10 uA to 50 mA output currents, and consumes 350 nA of active current and 20 nA during standby. The converter achieves greater than 90-percent efficiency across output currents higher than 15 uA. The TPS62736 regulator steps down the voltage from a power source, such as a thin-film or regular battery or a super capacitor and features a programmable output voltage.
The TPS62736 is currently sampling through TI. It comes in a 3.5-mm by 3.5-mm QFN package and is priced at US$2.00 in 1,000-unit quantities. Volume production is expected later in the first quarter. Evaluation modules are available to select customers
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.