Revolutionary New Sensor Consumes Almost No Power

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Scientists at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of San Diego have made tremendous progress in the power consumption of sensors. The development could benefit the so-called “Internet of Things,” as well as future “portable” devices, the Wearables.

Engineers at the University of San Diego have recently introduced a new temperature sensor that consumes only 113 picowatts of electricity. They could operate with a wattage of almost 10 billion of such sensors alone. In this connection, one may well speak of revolutionary development.

Study results of the research were published by Hui Wang now in the journal Nature. The aim of the scientific work was to ensure operation with the smallest batteries for many years. The result, if it can be repeated with other sensors, is likely to turn the landscape of the “Internet of Things” and of Wearables.

Sensor uses gate fault current

In fact, the solution of the scientists by the gate fault current has become possible. If so, the sensor uses the operating current, which would otherwise remain unused as a “waste product.” Also, the engineers dramatically changed the operation of the temperature sensor. It measures temperatures and converts them into digital values, but in a way that is obviously 628 times more efficient than existing solutions.

Use for end users, but not yet in the industry

The presented prototype currently has disadvantages, especially in the area of ​​speed. Also, it can currently only measure temperatures between -20 ° C and + 40 ° C. The speed problem now make the sensor unusable for application fields where a fast temperature measurement is necessary.