With every passing year, we discover better technologies and new segments which didn’t previously exist are born. The word IoT or Internet of Things didn’t hold much meaning a decade ago but now, it is a segment of technology that is paving the way of our future. Something wonderful can be achieved when devices have the ability to communicate with each other, and their creators.
To realise the dream of an interconnected world, the Delft startup Nowi created a tiny chip that is aimed at solving one of the most difficult problems in the IoT space. The most special bit about this integrated circuit is that it harvests energy on its own from its surroundings instead of relying on external, conventional means of energy. This is nothing short of a breakthrough in the field of IoT as it means that the integrated circuit developed by the startup can live forever.
Never change batteries again!
We will now dive a bit deeper into Nowi’s chip technology to know more about how it functions. However, before that, we need to know about one of the most pressing problems in the IoT space and its impact. IoT Chips need some sort of power supply to function and transmit data. Currently, most IoT devices are constantly connected to a power supply but for smaller sensors, this is not possible. This is where Nowi’s ingenious tech comes into play.
The company has developed a solution that features 30 times smaller footprint than the current standard and has a high energy conversion efficiency of about 80-90 percent. Called Nowi PIMC (Power Management Integrated Circuit), the technology utilises an innovative energy harvesting technology, which enables energy generation from ambient sources such as varying temperature, light, or radio frequency.
So, one might ask the question; why is this tech ground-breaking? Well, when we think of a limited number of IoT devices, it doesn’t really make sense. However, there are thousands of sensors that can benefit from the technology as integrating this chip into sensors that send data to the internet will not only help save costs but also be less impactful on the environment. Imagine a smartwatch that never runs out of power or sensors in roads or buildings that don’t ever need a battery replacement.
Latest funding round
Nowi recently made headlines when it partnered with Huawei to power the latter’s Boudica V150 NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) chip. Now, the company yet again stepped into the spotlight by securing €8 million in Series A funding, which follows an earlier €1.5 million investment from DTV. In addition, former CEO of Dutch telecoms group KPN, Ad Scheepbouwer, and Fox-IT founders Ronald Prins and Menno van de Marel will also support further commercialization of Nowi’s technology.
The startup Nowi was Founded in 2015 by two former students of TU Delft, Simon van der Jagt and Omar Link. Jagt says, “The latest €8M series A round of funding enables Nowi to further grow the team and complete its transition from start-up to a mature organization, while still retaining a majority position in the company. With the launch of our first NW-A2.3 Energy Harvesting PMIC in the first half of 2020, we will further expand our commercial activities.”
Nowi is now a team of 20 employees and has 8 patents on the underlying chiptechnology. The latest round of funding will enable further acceleration of the company’s technology.
Image credits: Nowi
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