MAX20361: Smallest Solar Harvester Increases Runtime for Wearables and IoT Applications

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Designers are often challenged with the tradeoff between small size and long runtime for wearable and IoT applications. Addressing that challenge is MAX20361, a single-/multi-cell solar harvester with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) from Maxim Integrated. The industry’s smallest solar harvesting solution is ideal for space-constrained applications such as wearables and emerging internet of things (IoT) applications.

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By enabling solar charging in these highly space-constrained products, the MAX20361 can extend the runtime of those devices by providing a supplemental power source. This solar harvester reduces solution size by at least half compared to the closest competitor. In addition, the MAX20361 increases harvested energy with up to 5 percent better boost efficiency than the closest competitor, coupled with an adaptive MPPT approach which can improve the overall system-level efficiency even further, reports Maxim Integrated.

“This device offers exciting possibilities for a new supplemental power source to continually charge the battery of a device,” said Frank Dowling, director of the Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “For example, if you can harvest just 30mW of solar power per day on a 300mAHr battery system which typically runs for three weeks, you can, as a result, extend that runtime by over 50 percent.”

Maxim Integrated

Key Advantages

  • Smallest Size: Industry’s smallest solar harvesting solution due to reduced component size and smaller, fewer external components; at least 50 percent smaller solution size compared to the closest competitor
  • Higher Efficiency: Increased boost efficiency maximizes harvested energy with up to 5 percent better boost efficiency than the closest competitor; additional harvesting gains can be achieved through adaptive MPPT features coupled with the unique integrated harvesting gauge for real-time indications of efficiency to optimize performance

“Innovation continues to drive adoption of consumer wearables with global revenue estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 percent in the next four years,” said James Hayward, principal analyst at IDTechEx Research. “For device manufacturers, longer battery life and smaller form factor remain key product features toward market differentiation and user satisfaction.”

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Availability and Pricing

The MAX20361 is available at Maxim Integrated’s website for $2.64 (1000-up, FOB USA); also available from authorized distributors. The MAX20361EVKIT# evaluation kit is available for $57.

The post MAX20361: Smallest Solar Harvester Increases Runtime for Wearables and IoT Applications first appeared on Wearable Technologies.
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