Energy Harvesting

Linear Intros Energy Harvesting DC/DC Converter

December 2, 2009

The LTC3108 accepts input voltages as low as 20 mV and is designed to interface with thermoelectric devices that convert small temperature differentials into usable energy.

MILPITAS, CA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Linear Technology Corporation (NASDAQ:LLTC), a leading manufacturer of high performance analog integrated circuits, has announced the release of its first device in a new family of power management products for energy harvesting applications. The LTC3108, an ultralow (20mV) input voltage DC/DC converter and power manager, is designed to interface with thermoelectric devices that convert small temperature differentials into electrical energy and convert that energy into a usable form for powering a wide range of applications.

"Untapped energy from nontraditional sources exists all around us," said Linear Technology Vice President and Power Products General Manager Don Paulus, "including heat, vibration or light generated from natural sources or as a by-product from industrial processes. Transducers to harvest this ambient or waste energy are available, but the missing link in the energy harvesting chain has been an efficient and manufacturable means to convert the low level transducer output into usable power. Our new LTC3108 DC/DC power manager solves this problem for thermal energy-based systems."

Energy harvesting affords the opportunity to charge, supplement or even eliminate batteries in systems where they are inconvenient, impractical, expensive or dangerous. And it can obviate the need for wires and routine maintenance.

Markus Brehler, CEO of wireless sensor market leader EnOcean, stated, "With this entry into the energy harvesting market, Linear Technology provides a key enabler for a new generation of wireless sensor products based on ambient thermal energy. We look forward to continued collaboration with Linear to provide increasingly efficient and innovative energy harvesting products for wireless building automation systems."

Don Paulus continued, "Energy harvesting has been a promising emerging market, but the technology just wasn't in place for it to break out commercially. This product release, as well as the announcement of EnOcean Alliance's open specification for energy harvesting wireless sensors, represent major steps toward establishing commercial momentum."

Energy from ambient temperature gradients can be harvested from such disparate sources as heating ducts and radiators, engines and motors, friction sources and the human body. Application areas include building automation, avionics, automated metering, remote sensor installations, predictive maintenance and wearable electronics.

About Linear Technology
Linear Technology Corporation, a manufacturer of high performance linear integrated circuits, was founded in 1981, became a public company in 1986 and joined the S&P 500 index of major public companies in 2000. Linear Technology products include high performance amplifiers, comparators, voltage references, monolithic filters, linear regulators, DC-DC converters, battery chargers, data converters, communications interface circuits, RF signal conditioning circuits, uModule products, and many other analog functions. Applications for Linear Technology's high performance circuits include telecommunications, cellular telephones, networking products such as optical switches, notebook and desktop computers, computer peripherals, video/multimedia, industrial instrumentation, security monitoring devices, high-end consumer products such as digital cameras and MP3 players, complex medical devices, automotive electronics, factory automation, process control, and military and space systems.

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