New chip paves way for batteryless devices

A new ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio housed in a chip smaller than a grain of rice can pave the way for batteryless smart devices and more portable, fully wireless smart home setups, suggests new research. The device developed by electrical engineers at the University of California San Diego in the US enables Internet of Things (IoT) devices to communicate with existing Wi-Fi networks using 5,000 times less power than today’s Wi-Fi radios. It consumes just 28 microwatts of power, according to the findings scheduled to be presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference 2020 in San Francisco. And it does so while transmitting data at a rate of 2 megabits per second (a connection fast enough to stream music and most YouTube videos) over a range of up to 21 metres.