to the end device. Once the battery is topped off, the PowerSpot enters sleep mode to conserve power and does not continue to top off the already fully charged battery.

CL: Powercast’s Wireless Power Calculator – How does it work? And how accessible will Powercast be making it? It certainly appeals to the more industrial applications: but is it only aimed at industrial users? And if not, should one consider how to simplify it for those users that may not know how to calculate the RF input and DC output?

CG: Powercast’s Wireless Power Calculator is an evaluation tool for engineers and product designers who are interested in RF wireless power for their projects: it is used to determine how much power will be received from Powercast’s RF-to-DC converter chips, and it’s a tool we’ve offered for many years, but have recently revamped to increase accuracy and improve ease of use.

We have taken the Friis equation and integrated our RF-to-DC conversion efficiencies across multiple frequency

bands, allowing the user to input bands, allowing the user to input variables such as transmitter-to-receiver

variables such as transmitter-to-receiver distance, output voltage, receiver

antenna gain, and even the transmitter antenna power and gain for users who have their own RF power source. The Friis equation is the same equation used

antenna gain, and even the transmitter antenna power and gain for users who have their own RF power source. The Friis equation is the same equation used in telecommunication to predict the communication range between a transmitter and receiver, and it provides a good estimation for far-field RF power

harvesting from a dedicated RF source, such as one of Powercast’s transmitters. Non-technical users are not our target market for his development tool. O

this development tool. Our goal is to provide accurate estimations

is to provide accurate estimations in real-life situations for engineers and designers, rather than a tool for the end consumer. The multitude of variables offered on the calculator allow engineers to mimic their environment as closely as possible, to determine whether or not RF wireless power is a good fit for their application and use case.




G is creeping into the real world, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) has a part to play in its integration. Silicon Labs sees the potential in this, thus reducing the cost and complexity of adding 90W PoE to power sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered devices (PD). In keeping with the IEEE 802.3bt standard, which more than doubles standard PoE power, and expands the capabilities of wireless access points and IoT wireless gateways, Silicon Lab’s latest PoE portfolio’s higher power capabilities will look to help make PoE-powered 5G

small cells (and digital buildings) a practical reality.

“5G is creeping into the real world, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) has a part to play in its integration. Silicon Labs sees the potential in this...”

Highlights in the new portfolio include the Si3471 PSE controller, the Si3474 quad Ethernet port PSE controller, and the Si34071 single- chip PD solution. Firstly, the Si3471 is noticeable for its autonomy – as it does not require external host MCUs, fi rmware downloads or any time-sensitive software programming, the solution simplifi es the integration of a power source: this can add up to 90W.

Then there’s the

Si3474, with the option for up to four 90W


802.3bt PoE ports, or up to eight 30W 802.3at/af PoE ports: this versatility suits both industrial and commercial Ethernet switches, in addition to security recording equipment. As with the Si3471, it comes equipped with an autonomous mode, in which it can operate at full power.

Finally, there’s the Si34071 PD solution. With a DC-DC converter that measures up to 90 per cent end-to-end effi ciency, this PD solution looks to deliver the high power demanded by 5G small cells, in addition to wireless access points and IoT gateways. “Silicon Labs’ 802.3bt PoE portfolio delivers higher power,

eff ective integration and advanced features to help developers simplify their system designs, while meeting stringent power, size and cost budgets,” said Brian Mirkin, vice president and general manager of power products at Silicon Labs: “Our new PoE portfolio spans both ends of the Ethernet cable, from 15W to 90W, giving developers fl exible options for a wide range of PSE and PD applications.”

“Silicon Labs’ new 90W solutions helped streamline our single-port PoE designs for the emerging high-power PoE market,” said Jonathan Sohnis, chief technology offi cer of Altronix: “Silicon Labs’ technical support enables us to deliver our PoE technology to the market early.”

Silicon Labs


“Powercast has been deploying wireless power solutions in the commercial and industrial space for some time now... One could even see the extinction of charging cables for commodified items such as headphones...”

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