The over-the-air RF charging platform, which operates in the lower 600 – 900 MHz frequency bands licensed by mobile carriers, enables carriers to monetize underutilized low-frequency bands and offer “Power as a Service” to charge low-power devices and smart home IoT sensors that eliminate disposable batteries.
Powercast Corporation, the leader in radio-frequency (RF)-based over-the-air wireless power technology, has developed a one-of-a-kind cellular-based RF Power-Over-Distance Wireless Charging Platform utilizing Sequans (NYSE: SQNS) Monarch cellular IoT connectivity technology. Powercast will demonstrate the solution at the Mobile World Congress from September 28 to September 30 in Las Vegas at booth w2.1226.
The Powercast cellular-based RF Wireless Charging Platform has distinctive advantages. It operates in the lower 600 – 900 MHz frequency bands licensed by mobile carriers.
- Because cellular bands are licensed, or private, they have greater flexibility regarding the amount of power they can transmit, antenna gain, and bandwidth, allowing end devices to charge faster and at greater distances than with unlicensed, or public, bands.
- As cellular service shifts to higher frequencies, such as 5G, to increase data throughput, carriers can monetize their underutilized low frequency bands by offering “Power as a Service.”
- Capability to simultaneously charge multiple consumer devices at a distance, including smart home security and automation IoT sensors, TV remotes, keyboards, ear buds, headphones, smart watches, fitness bands, and hearing aids.
“Because many RF transmitting devices operate in unlicensed bands such as the 915MHz band, there are limits on transmit power, antenna gain, and other parameters so many devices can coexist and be interoperable. This innovative way to use licensed cellular frequencies to increase device charging power will allow manufacturers to create green, sustainable IoT devices that can charge more quickly and at longer distances from a cellular RF transmitter.”Charles Greene, PhD, COO and CTO of Powercast.
The platform combines Sequans’ Monarch 2 GM02S module with a Powercast RF transmitting antenna to send RF wirelessly to an embedded Powercast PCC110 Powerharvester® receiver chip in end devices. The Powerharvester extracts RF from the air and converts it to DC (direct current) to either power a device without batteries or charge a rechargeable battery, thereby preventing the disposal of disposable batteries.
In the Mobile World Congress demonstration, a Sequans Monarch 2 cellular modem collaborates with Powercast’s 700MHz antenna to transmit a 700MHz RF cellular signal to Powercast’s PCC110 receiver and RF-to-DC converter chip, which in turn powers a battery-free sensor beacon that transmits temperature and humidity data to a gateway or phone.
“This collaborative effort to introduce cellular technology into the over-the-air RF wireless charging picture creates opportunities for more manufacturers to develop environmentally-friendly smart home IoT ecosystems that eliminate disposable batteries. With cellular everywhere, the opportunities are endless. Powercast is pioneering this field, and shares Sequans’ vision to make IoT more sustainable by integrating an increasing number of functionalities, and limiting the semiconductor carbon footprint.”Louis Chuang, EVP and GM of the Massive IoT Business Unit of Sequans.