Spansion's Energy Harvesting Solution to Eliminate Batteries in iBeacon Modules
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems solutions, and Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. in Japan (DNP) today announced DNP has selected Spansion's energy harvesting power management integrated circuits (PMICs) for its battery-free beacon modules to implement field experiments of indoor positioning and O2O (online to offline) services in airports and shopping malls.
Spansion's family of energy harvesting PMICs enable the development of eco-friendly IoT devices, which can be operated without battery or fuel. The PMICs implemented in the beacons can effectively extract energy from both sunlight and vibration. The power source is provided by the solar battery panels, which are embedded within the module and are half the size of a business card. The solar battery can be operated continuously using the amount of light equal to standard interior lighting used in everyday activities.
As a joint initiative called "iBeacon(*1) Project" with Japan Airlines Co., Ltd (JAL), DNP's experimental service was launched in cooperation with JAL on October 9. This service is currently providing real-time departure, gate and other timely information for "JAL Countdown" application users from the battery-free beacon modules placed in the departure area of all Japan's major airports including Haneda Airport Terminal-1, New Chitose, Sendai, Narita, Komatsu, Itami, Kansai, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Fukuoka, Naha, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima airports. Additionally, in cooperation with Aeon Mall Co., Ltd., DNP will launch a separate field experiment using the Spansion-powered battery-free beacon modules to deliver digital floor information and guides to Aeon mall visitors at the mall entrance. Leveraging the Spansion-based battery-free beacon modules, DNP plans to implement more field experiments at a variety of commercial facilities.
DNP will expand its beacon-based services to include games, digital coupons, in-facility map information and product information. DNP expects these services will be widely introduced in large-sized facilities and tourist spots, including shopping malls, theme parks and museums. However, the work and cost of maintaining battery-powered beacons is too high a burden for operators since batteries wear out too fast.
"Batteries that power most iBeacon solutions today must be changed too often. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, we believe the costs and maintenance of replacing batteries in beacon modules will become prohibitive," said Tom Sparkman, senior vice president of Spansion's Analog Business. "Spansion's energy harvesting solutions enable products to operate without batteries and use solar, vibration, and thermal variations for energy sources. We help companies dramatically reduce operating expenses and accelerate the creation of more innovative IoT applications."
About Spansion's Energy Harvesting Solutions Spansion's family of energy harvesting PMICs enable the development of eco-friendly IoT devices, which can be operated without battery or fuel. The PMICs implemented in the beacons can effectively extract energy from both sunlight and vibration. The beacon used for these PMICs uses the battery-free beacon/wireless sensor terminal development kit MB39C811-EVBSK-02s, equipped with a temperature sensor and USB serial converter IC for ID rewriting/debugging. The power source is provided by the solar battery panels, which are embedded within the module and are half the size of a business card. The solar battery can be operated continuously using the amount of light equal to standard interior lighting used in everyday activities.
Spansion will demonstrate its energy harvesting solutions at the Energy Harvesting Storage USA www.idtechex.com/energy-harvesting-usa/eh.asp November 19-20, 2014 and at the Embedded Technology Conference in Japan www.embeddedtech.net November 19-21, 2014.
• Spansion Energy Harvesting video demonstrations: http://www.youtube.com/spansioninc
• Spansion Easy DesignSim™ support tool
• Spansion newsroom: news.spansion.com www.spansion.com/News
• Spansion Core Code technical magazine and blog: core.spansion.com
Spansion (NYSE: CODE) is a global leader in embedded systems solutions. Spansion's flash memory, microcontrollers, analog and mixed-signal products drive the development of faster, intelligent, secure and energy efficient electronics. Spansion is at the heart of electronics systems, connecting, controlling, storing and powering everything from automotive electronics and industrial systems to the highly interactive and immersive consumer devices that are enriching people's daily lives. For more information, visit www.spansion.com
*1 iBeacon is location technology using Bluetooth® Smart introduced by Apple in 2013.
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