Ramtron International has reported that the Zurich University of Applied Sciences Institute of Embedded Systems (ZHAW InES) has presented a paper that describes the research based on Ramtron F-RAM designed into a wireless, battery-free sensor node.
With a presentation at the European ZigBee Developers Conference in Munich, Germany lying underway, the research showed that the implementation of F-RAM nonvolatile memory for energy harvesting applications will result in more than 40% reduction in energy consumption of the wireless sensor node. The overall cost of the wireless sensor system will therefore be lesser than standard nonvolatile memory components-based systems.
Wireless sensor networks are designed to form advanced building automation systems. A wireless switch can perform battery-free or hardwired electrical infrastructure-free operation. The switch utilizes the energy harvested from mechanical, solar, or piezoelectric input. Even less energy being emitted from the switch is adequate to drive a transmitter that relays a radio signal to a receiver and that serves as a power source for lighting or other domestic and industrial systems. This cost-efficient wireless switch replaces associated batteries and wires. With improved creative design flexibility, this wireless switch can be ideally deployed by architects.
Led by ZHAW professor, Dr. Marcel Meli, the research demonstrates that using F-RAM nonvolatile memory in a wireless switch will enhance the capability ZigBee wireless nodes powered by harvested energy like low-power digital radio.
Prof. Dr. Meli's research also demonstrates that F-RAM can mitigate total bill-of-materials included in energy harvesting wireless sensor nodes. Use of F-RAM in reinstating the processor is possible if sufficient energy is available. It also entails low power management with lesser constraints on the storage system. Thus, the complexity of the system and the cost of the component are reduced.