Ultra-low power solutions
In order to meet user demands and expectations, smart battery-powered products need to have a maximum autonomous lifetime. For this, the product must use as little power as possible. But how to achieve that? Outstanding low-power design can’t be solved on component level – you have to consider the complete system and all functions to ensure a maximum operating lifetime on a single battery charge. Our ultra-low power solutions service helps you do so.
In the world of digital connected products & systems, ultra-low power solutions require the ultimate balancing act. There are a great many factors that can interact and influence power consumption at – and even across – different levels in the system, such as…
- Are there functions which could better be located outside a connected product – for instance, in the cloud – to help extend the maximum operating life?
- Can functions possibly be combined to reduce power consumption – and are there suitable components for that?
- How can I maximize processing speed, wireless links and other areas of product performance in the face of low-power requirements?
The answers to power-related questions are not always obvious, and can be particularly complex. For instance, in some cases, the most efficient solution could involve using more – rather than fewer – components. By making use of broad insight into all factors that influence power consumption, our experts can determine the optimal power-performance equilibrium for your product. If desired, this can also include an operational prototype that demonstrates the targeted operational lifetime.
Philips Innovation Service follows various phases in developing ultra-low power solutions for wearables and other products. Our experts can also provide individual, one-off support at each one:
- System architecture analysis
Analyzing the overall system architecture of the product. In what ways does it support – or not support – ultra-low power operation? After identifying changes that would be advantageous, we outline the architectural choices and their justification in a document for discussion.
- Function analysis
Analyzing the various product functions (power aspects of the battery/mains, function power management, low-power connectivity, etc.), specifying their requirements, and selecting possibly suitable alternative components. Here, we often collaborate with component suppliers to identify the ‘ultra-low power potential’ limits. We may also investigate energy harvesting options.
- Power budgeting
Determining the most optimal power-consumption configuration (including desired states, i.e. sleep vs awake, over time) based on all available data of the different components – while also best fulfilling all other product requirements.
Demonstrating the validity of the design, if desired, by making a prototype, which can also be a first step in the product development phase..
To achieve the best ultra-low power design possible, it must be approached from a system point of view. We first analyze system architecture to identify how we can maximize ultra-low power potential. After making any necessary adaptations, we then do the same for functions and components. Then, we make one or more power budgets to analyze different configurations. All of these steps are typically done in a number of iterations. Eventually, we propose an optimal configuration that can be operationally demonstrated in a prototype.
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Creating smart connected products and systems requires capabilities beyond the typical hardware and software design and engineering skills.