Integrated Reciprocal Conversion With Selective Direct Operation for Energy Harvesting Systems

Anand Savanth*, Alex S. Weddell, James Myers, David Flynn, Bashir M. Al-Hashimi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Energy harvesting IoT systems aim for energy neutrality, i.e., harvesting at least as much energy as is needed. This, however, is complicated by variations in environmental energy and application demands. Conventional systems use separate power converters to interface between the harvester and the storage, and then to the CPU system. Reciprocal power conversion has recently been proposed to perform both roles, eliminating redundancy and minimizing losses. This paper proposes to enhance this topology with 'selective direct operation,' which completely bypasses the converter when appropriate. The integrated system, with 82% bidirectional conversion efficiency, was validated in 65-nm CMOS with only the harvester, battery, and decoupling capacitors being off-chip. Optimized for operation with cm2 photo-voltaic cell and a 32-b sub-threshold processor, the scheme enables up to 16% otherwise wasted energy to be utilized to provide >30% additional compute cycles under realistic indoor lighting conditions. Measured results show 84% peak conversion efficiency and energy neutral execution of benchmark sensor software (ULPBench) with cold-start capability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7948804
Pages (from-to)2370-2379
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • cold-start
  • Energy harvesting
  • MPPT
  • sub-threshold
  • switched capacitor converters


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