The nanoCloudProcessor created by British Columbia-based technology company Epic Semiconductors, is only the size of a speck of dust, yet is able to power itself and to sense and communicate with the internet.
The technology behind EPIC (Energetic-field Processing Integrated Circuit) patented nanoCloud Processors (nCPs) is nothing short of elegant, according to the company. nCPs are next-generation external peripheral chips for battery-less, contactless communications (support of identity, authentication, biometrics) with applications in entertainment, medical, industrial devices and retail electronics.
Equally as important is that the nCPs can overcome air gaps and be powered from up to 12 inches away from any energetic source, including the human body.
As well, since the core enabling technology consumes very little die area and also has ultra low power consumption this results in a very small silicon die. For low pin count applications, the chip size is less than one square millimetre.
EPIC Features and benefits include:
- nanoscale chip design
- built-in wireless energy harvesting means: the nCP requires no batteries but is even able to charge batteries contactlessly
- requires no additional external parts
- harvests energy from the human body, iPads, smart phones, etc.
- integrated sensing features allow the nCP to measure and respond to touch, approach, 3D multi-gestures, vital signs, food quality, and more
- contactless, wireless
- no RFID, no RF, no IR, no magnetics
- powers and operates LEDs, displays, and analog front-ends (AFEs)
- back-up non-volatile memory technology with bidirectional communication to off-chip storage
Internet of Things (IoT)
With no additional external parts and no batteries or radio transceivers, nCPs sense human action and can communicate with the Internet via smart hubs and devices. When attached to foils, these grain-sized nCPs serve as sensing decals that can be used for wearable computing, smart labels, home appliances, and even to identify and monitor sealed perishable products. A single MCU-equipped device (such as those used in smartphones, smartwatches, computers, cars, home appliances, game consoles, or medical devices) can serve as a wireless and contactless host to control hundreds of collision free, self-organizing nCPs. NanoCloud Processors can be used to check the presence and freshness of food inside a refrigerator. In home appliances, nCPs can conduct physical- and chemical- sensing jobs, control fluff mesh, or communicate washing progress to a smart device or home TV. nCPs can make any consumer product or its package interactive, trigger advertising and Digital Signage, or prevent shoplifting.
Integrated with sensing features, nCPs are ideal for measuring and communicating human vital signs and the forces to which the body is subjected. They are radiation-free, and can be applied to the skin in fitness, wellness, or healthcare products, such as patches.
nCPs can serve as remote clients that require no external power, Wi-Fi, or sensors. They react to touch and proximity, and check orientation and 3D multi-gestures upto 2ft. nCPs can be integrated seamlessly with products and ideas, and controlled with smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and game consoles.
nCPs attached to plastic foils or stickers in the shape of an admired brand's logo. SmartLogos make a product interactive in the retail environment. When used in a shop, they can trigger digital advertising, personalized CRM, and Digital Signage. Smart Textiles have a bright future in the fashion industry. SmartLogos are interactive branding that can be attached to any item or apparel. SmartLogos harvest energy from the human body. They require no batteries, and have sensing and illumination features.
Source and top image: EPIC Semiconductors