Powercast Corporation's radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range power-over-distance wireless power components are now available worldwide through Digi-Key Electronics, a global electronic components distributor, thanks to a new distribution agreement. Digi-Key will offer everything needed for manufacturers to design wirelessly powered devices using Powercast's wireless power technology, which works in the far field (up to 80 feet) for automatic, contactless, over-the-air charging of multiple devices.
This will include Powercast's chipsets, RF transmitters, modules, development kits and evaluation boards.
"We have helped customers power their commercial and industrial systems since 2003, but with the recent surge of interest from consumer device manufacturers, this partnership with Digi-Key is the perfect way to facilitate their product development," said Powercast's COO/CTO Charles Greene, Ph.D.
Powercast's technology features the embeddable Powerharvester® receiver (PCC110), which harvests RF energy sent over the air via the 915 MHz ISM band from either of Powercast's FCC and ISED-approved RF transmitters (PowerSpot® TX91503 for consumer electronics or Powercaster® TX91501 for commercial and industrial applications). The Powerharvester then converts the RF to DC to directly power a battery-less device or recharge a device's batteries.
Powercast recommends starting designs with a drop-in Powerharvester module - either the P1110B for battery recharging or P2110B for battery-less devices like wireless sensors - for simple and fast testing and prototyping. Both modules contain the Powerharvester PCC110 chip along with necessary tuning components. The P1110B also includes overvoltage protection circuitry to protect the chips and external battery.
The P2110B also includes the PCC210 boost converter and stores energy in an external capacitor for designing battery-free wireless sensing systems. There are also development kits and evaluation boards that support both Powerharvester modules.
Digi-Key will also carry Powercast's Multi-Sensor RFID Tags for environmental monitoring (temperature, humidity and light), including battery-free (PCT100) and rechargeable battery (PCT200) versions.
"We are excited to work with Powercast, the pioneer of RF-based power-over-distance technology, to help more manufacturers worldwide create their own wirelessly powered ecosystems," said David Stein, VP, Global Supplier Management at Digi-Key. "We believe our customer base will enjoy the freedom of movement Powercast's products create for all their design and application requirements."