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The World’s First Energy Harvesting Application Development Kit

Tue, 07/20/2010 - 6:58am

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XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting KitMicrochip Technology announced that it has partnered with Cymbet Corporation to provide the world’s first customizable energy harvesting application development kit—the XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit. This kit includes a modular development board populated with the PIC24F16KA102 microcontroller—featuring eXtreme Low Power—and the capability to add PICtail daughter boards for the rapid evaluation of a wide variety of system functions, including ZigBee and proprietary wireless connectivity, and SD memory cards. The PIC microcontroller’s eXtreme Low Power technology allows users to gain the longest possible operation from the included Cymbet EnerChip EH Eval-08 Energy Harvesting Board, which harvests solar energy that is then stored in the EnerChip solid-state, rechargeable energy-storage devices.

Power condition and capacity are monitored by energy conscious software algorithms developed by Microchip and Cymbet. The monitored information can be reported to a PC user interface via a USB connection. Complete energy harvesting application firmware can be fully developed using the included PICkit 3 programmer/debugger.

Energy Harvesting is an emerging trend within the worldwide energy-efficiency movement. It enables designers to extend the life of their battery-powered applications, or eliminate batteries altogether, by scavenging energy from sources such as the sun or ambient indoor light. The XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Kit provides a customizable development platform for designers to build and test their solar energy harvesting applications, without having to design any hardware. Example applications for this technology include portable consumer electronics, remote sensor networks, utility meters and portable medical devices.

“Until now, energy harvesting kits were limited to demonstration,” said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division. “This new kit offers true application development capability, and pairs Microchip’s industry-leading eXtreme Low Power PIC microcontrollers with Cymbet’s innovative energy harvesting technology, for the longest and most efficient solar-power operation.”

Availability & Pricing

The XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Kit (part # DV164133) is available today for $195. Currently, the kit is available exclusively through Digi-Key at http://www.microchip.com/get/FKAT. For additional information, contact any Microchip sales representative or visit Microchip’s Web site at http://www.microchip.com/get/2PT2
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