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Reference Design for Battery-Free, Solar-Powered Sensor Beacon

31 August 2016

Cypress Semiconductor Corporation introduced a new kit with a complete reference design for a tiny, battery-free sensor beacon that could be employed in a broad range of fast-growing Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CYALKIT-E02 Solar-Powered BLE Sensor Beacon Reference Design Kit provides an easy-to-use platform for the development of a solar-powered wireless sensor node (WSN) that can measure the temperature and humidity around its location and transmit the data using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity. The reference sensor beacon, which is 25 mm in diameter, can be placed and left to operate without maintenance for battery changes, making it ideal to monitor environmental conditions in smart home, commercial building, factory and agriculture settings.

Cypress Semiconductor's CYALKIT-E02 provides a complete reference design for a battery-free, solar or ambient light-powered sensor beacon that measures temperature and humidity and wirelessly delivers the data via Bluetooth Low Energy. Image source: Cypress Semiconductor Corp. via PR Newswire Cypress Semiconductor's CYALKIT-E02 provides a complete reference design for a battery-free, solar or ambient light-powered sensor beacon that measures temperature and humidity and wirelessly delivers the data via Bluetooth Low Energy. Image source: Cypress Semiconductor Corp. via PR Newswire Cypress expects the WSN IoT device market to grow to more than five billion units by 2020, putting a premium on battery-free implementations to reduce cost and maintenance problems. The placement of a WSN may limit its size and the amount of light available, thereby limiting the size and power output of the solar module and the startup power available. The tiny new reference design integrates Cypress's energy-harvesting power management integrated circuits, EZ-BLE PRoC Bluetooth Low Energy module, and a 15 mm x 15 mm solar cell that enables operation using as little as 100 lux of ambient light—less than a typical warehouse aisle receives. The kit contains the solar-powered BLE sensor beacon and a BLE-to-USB bridge and debug board that can be connected to a host PC, via a USB interface, to receive sensor data and to allow on-chip debugging of the sensor beacon.

Cypress also offers the CYALKIT-E03 expansion pack, which includes five solar-powered BLE sensor beacons. For more information on both kits, see the CYALKIT-E02 and CYALKIT-E03 information pages, respectively, at Cypress.com.

Cypress BLE-Beacon applications for iOS, Android and PCs (supplied with the CYALKIT-E02 and CYALKIT-E03 kits) let users receive data transmitted by the sensor beacon and view it as a 2-D or 3-D graph, or export it for further processing or analysis.

Availability


The Cypress CYALKIT-E02 Solar-Powered BLE Sensor Beacon Reference Design Kit is $49, and the CYALKIT-E03 Sensor Beacon Expansion Pack is $99. According to Cypress, both kits will be available within one to two weeks of order.



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