By Janet Ooi | IoT Industry and Solutions Marketing
Submitted by Keysight Technologies
IoT Devices Today: More Electronics, More Sensors, More Efficiency
Technology is advancing rapidly, transforming many aspects of society, including how people communicate, navigate, treat diseases, and even defend their homes and countries. The internet of things (IoT) now has more electronics than ever to run better diagnostics, more sensors to increase autonomy, and better connectivity to avoid interference. IoT devices are becoming smaller for portability giving rise to battery-powered devices. These changes in the technology landscape are leading us toward a power revolution. A revolution that brings about longer battery life, super-fast battery charging with more sustainable and environmentally-friendly battery materials. Industries and research centers are leading the way to push the boundaries in battery development, manufacturing, and test.
The Next Power Challenge
The battery industry has come a long way from more than two decades ago. Today, battery manufacturers are constantly experimenting to find cheaper, lighter, and more powerful solutions to support the wide variety of battery-powered devices. Consumers demand longer-lasting and faster-charging batteries across industries, including consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive, and military. The healthcare industry relies heavily on better batteries to support medical equipment, such as blood pressure monitors, hearing aids, cardiac support equipment, and insulin pumps that are portable and convenient. Military applications may require power while in remote areas for extended periods between recharging or battery replacement.
Apart from battery manufacturers, IoT device manufacturers will consider battery characterization when designing new devices — right from design and prototyping to product development, product testing, and manufacturing. It is one of the most important considerations for IoT devices, giving them a distinct and marketable competitive advantage.
Device Design and Prototyping
Throughout the device design and prototyping process, a device designer keeps in mind the effects of the design and how it will affect the batteries.
The R&D engineer has an equally critical role in the effort to prolong the battery life of the IoT device.
Battery Test Comes With Challenges
Although the steps to design and develop wireless devices might sound straightforward, design engineers face many challenges. For example, a design engineer has to understand how a new device depletes its battery capacity.
With the miniaturization of IoT, the low-power IoT devices run on a very low µA current in the background to allow the device to function during idle time. The sleep current is also very low, compared to the current used when the device is active or transmitting. The design engineer has to isolate and test specific hardware sub-circuits since some sub-circuits must always run in the background to allow the device to function.
The design engineer will also test and characterize their device, its sub-circuits, and the
battery, both independently and in combination. The design engineer needs to validate and test the device to ensure it meets the proof of concept before going for mass production.
End-to-End Device Battery Test Solution
How can device designers accurately measure all transient activities to measure the overall current consumption of the IoT device effectively? How can the design engineers test the impact of their design and algorithm changes and validate them against complex customer use models?
The design engineer wants a solution that can help them perform battery characterization, emulation, cycling, current drain, and event-based power consumption analysis to optimize and maximize the device’s battery life.
The Keysight X8712A / N6705C DC power analyzer with its source measure unit and electronic load modules and three compatible software tools is an integrated solution that can help solve your battery life, battery drain, and battery emulation concerns. This integrated solution helps design engineers select, optimize, and validate battery performance by reducing battery testing time and complexities. Design engineers can then easily and accurately test and characterize their device and the battery to make informed trade-offs for optimizing battery run time.
Battery technology and test tools are advancing rapidly to keep pace with the expectations and requirements. Design engineers should capture and analyze battery performance data early in the design and throughout the development process to avoid the costly and time-consuming rework required to fix problems late in the development cycle. Plus, the deep insight enabled by accurate battery life testing offers you the greatest chance of exploring new ways to extend and optimize your IoT device’s battery life.
At Keysight (NYSE: KEYS), we inspire and empower innovators to bring world-changing technologies to life. As an S&P 500 company, we’re delivering market-leading design, emulation, and test solutions to help engineers develop and deploy faster, with less risk, throughout the entire product lifecycle. We’re a global innovation partner enabling customers in communications, industrial automation, aerospace and defense, automotive, semiconductor, and general electronics markets to accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Learn more at Keysight Newsroom and www.keysight.com.
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