CMOS inductively coupled power receiver for wireless microsensors
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This research investigates how to draw energy from a distant emanating and alternating (i.e., AC) magnetic source and deliver it to a battery (i.e., DC). The objective is to develop, design, simulate, build, test, and evaluate a CMOS charger integrated circuit (IC) that wirelessly charges the battery of a microsystem. A fundamental challenge here is that a tiny receiver coil only produces mV's of AC voltage, which is difficult to convert into DC form. Although LC-boosted diode-bridge rectifiers in the literature today extract energy from similar AC sources, they can do so only when AC voltages are higher than what miniaturized coils can produce, unless tuned off-chip capacitors are available, which counters the aim of integration. Therefore, rather than rectify the AC voltage, this research proposes to rectify the current that the AC voltage induces in the coil. This way, the system can still draw power from voltages that fall below the inherent threshold limit of diode-bridge rectifiers. Still, output power is low because, with these low currents, small coils can only extract a diminutive fraction of the magnetic energy available, which is why investing battery energy is also part of this research. Ultimately, the significance of increasing the power that miniaturized platforms can output is higher integration and functionality of micro-devices, like wireless microsensors and biomedical implants.
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