ONiO, a healthcare-focused Norwegian Internet of Things (IoT) company, has launched ONiO.zero, an Ultra-low-power microcontroller based on RISC-V that can operate entirely with collected energy without batteries, supercapacitors or any other form of storage.
“Battery-based solutions come with unavoidable battery replacement issues, which translate into incremental costs for the entire device. ONiO.zero avoids this pain point and reduces the cost of ownership. It provides years of power to sensors and devices, and ONiO.zero is self-powered and supports a wide range of power supplies, from GSM-supported multi-frequency RF bands to optional external power supplies such as solar, piezoelectric, thermal and dry batteries.
The microcontroller itself is based on the free and open source RISC-V instruction set architecture- RV32EMC, which operates at a frequency of up to 24MHz when powered by 1.8V.
The controller can also operate at a lower voltage when needed: 1V at 6MHz, 0.8V at 1MHz, and as low as 450mV, the chip can continue to operate. The controller includes 1kB as low as 450mV ROM and 2kB OF RAM, as well as 8-32kB of ultra-low-power flash memory, which can be written 100,000 times and read voltage as low as 850mV.
ONiO.zero also includes crystal-free Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmitters that operate at voltages as low as 850mV, IEEE 802.15.4 ultra-broadband (UWB) transmitters operating in the 3.5-10GHz band, and ultra-broadband (UWB) transmitters for industrial use, Optional 433MHz MICS radio transmitter in the Science and Medicine (ISM) band.
The chip’s energy comes from an internal RF rectifier and can be derived from the 800/900/1800 and 1900/2400MHz bands (ISM and GSM). For environments where there is not enough RF energy to reliably power the chip, the “internal power plant” supports photovoltaic cells as low as 400mV and 1.8V to 3.6V of piezoelectric or thermal power supplies.
No battery means fewer components and smaller designs that can be easily integrated into a wide range of solutions , whether it’s fabrics, jewelry, watches, wearable medical devices, livestock or building sensors. More importantly, it is a cleaner, greener solution.