You’ve heard of electronics harvesting electricity from heat, light and vibration sources individually, but this new chip from MIT is the first that can do all three at the same time. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the Energizer bunny quaking in its boots.
Previous efforts at such a microchip could only utilise one power source at a time, with the rest of the gathered power going to waste. Being able to access all three sources at once not only eliminates this inefficiency, it also increases the peak power-delivery capability. Thanks to its dual-path architecture, it’s also capable of storing excess energy in a battery for later use while also powering the task at hand.
The research will be published in IEEE later this year, but there’s no word yet on when this technology will hit the market. When it does, however, it will be tremendously useful for tracking and other types of data collection that require a small amounts of power for extended periods of time. [MIT via Inhabitat]