The technology has been filed under a U.S. patent for a “charge-pump” that harvests radio frequency (RF) energy using a wireless antenna.
By storing the harvested energy at high voltage on a capacitor, Winton expects to be able to store large amounts of energy on an integrated circuit.
The integrated circuit design has a range of applications that includes self-charging power supplies for portable electronics and a “smart” bandage that measures cholesterol, insulin and blood chemistry without the use of needles.
“We have not published this circuit except as a patent,” Winton told iTnews.
“We are conducting tests on the various options in the topology under different manufacturing technologies, and expect to make a disclosure in the usual way, via scientific literature,” he said.
“Enhancement of the energy stored on the cell-phone supply is a natural application, but we are not sufficiently connected with the principals in the RF chipset industry to get their attention. Yet.”
As the circuit is powered by RF energy that is harvested by an on-board antenna, the power source could be virtually infinite.
Winton credited the technology with “incredible economic potential”, estimating commercial applications of the circuit design to yield up to US$100 million annually.
However, the Mississippi State University professor said he would continue to prioritise his academic work over commercial functions.
“I truly like what I do here at MSU, as a professor/teacher/researcher,” he told iTnews.
“To devote the intense focus and time to bring this technology to market would displace me from this world that I fit and have a good impact.”
“I am not sure that incredible wealth is worth giving away something that you like, so I am taking it slow,” he said. “And what do you do with US$100 million per year anyway?”
Integrated circuit design to yield infinite mobile battery life
By Liz Tay on May 19, 2008 12:35PM