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Frugal function


Security labels without silicon can prevent theft.

Still, no electronic sensor functions without a wireless connection. The power supply required for such devices has an impact on battery size.

Which is why a Norwegian-based startup has developed a new circuit architecture for wireless chips, so that they work in the subthreshold region.

At 3.3 volts, conventional components need around 1.7 microamperes – whether active or not.

Wireless chips with the new design view these states as separate and, when active, get by on 500 nano-amperes. In sleep mode, 19 nano-amperes are sufficient.

The development could dramatically reduce the size and number of batteries, and the amount of electronic waste.

Bees, meanwhile, are vital for high-performance chips of the future

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