Sigfox leads energy harvesting partnership

  • January 12, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Sigfox is working with Brazilian semiconductor company HT Micron and Dutch energy harvesting specialist Nowi to explore and unlock the benefits of integrating energy harvesting into Sigfox devices.

This collaboration marks the first step for Sigfox towards a commercial development of energy harvesting modules to equip IoT devices and contribute to more sustainability in the IoT. Key use cases are applications in smart metering, industrial sensors, asset tracking and air quality monitoring.

During the research phase, HT Micron has worked on creating the semiconductor technology to be integrated with Nowi’s energy harvesting PMIC (power management integrated circuit) designed for low power IoT devices. Equipped on Sigfox devices and powered by 0G technology, this should help reduce battery consumption and offer longer autonomy while reducing the total cost of ownership.

Nowi’s PMIC is designed to extract power efficiently from ambient energy sources such as light and vibration to charge various energy storage elements such as a rechargeable battery or capacitor. It suits most low power applications such as distributed IoT sensors and TV remote controls for example.

“The low power consumption of Sigfox solutions is particularly well suited to being powered by ambient energy harvesting,” said Chris Juliano, CCO at Nowi. “As many Sigfox-based applications require intermittent communication intervals, this allows for trickle charging a storage element with energy harvesting in between transmissions.”

Sigfox and HT Micron have been working together for several years and HT Micron was identified as a strategic partner for this project as it has the expertise to create innovative modules and considers energy harvesting essential for IoT mass adoption with sustainability.

“We are glad to take this next step with Sigfox and explore energy harvesting as a new way to create added value to our end customers and help them improve their environmental impact,” said Edelweis Ritt, CIO at HT Micron.

Benjamin Jooris, ecosystem director at Sigfox, added: “This collaboration with Nowi and HT Micron is another proof point towards our ambition to create IoT solutions that will help our clients preserve the environment by greatly reducing their energy consumption. We are looking forward to the development of this new kind of devices and to the positive impact they will generate.”

The first step of this project is a development kit integrating Nowi’s PMIC with HT Micron’s Sigfox system-in-package, to be used for testing purposes by R&D and product development teams. Customers can register to receive the development kit.

Next, Sigfox, Nowi and HT Micron plan to create a mass production module that can be used by any type of device maker.

ISO 9001 certified and supported by a partner ecosystem, Sigfox was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Labège, France, with offices in Boston, Dallas, Dubai, Madrid, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Tokyo.

Nowi is a semiconductor company founded in 2016, based in Delft, the Netherlands, with regional offices in the USA and Shanghai. It has developed energy harvesting PMICs that combine harvesting performance with a small assembly footprint and low cost.

HT Micron’s portfolio includes memories for computers, mobile phones and smart TVs, as well as system-in-package connectivity for the IoT. Its main shareholder is South Korean group Hana Micron, and it is based in São Leopoldo, Brazil.