Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ) and Powercast Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA) introduce the Lifetime Power® Energy Harvesting Development Kit featuring PIC® microcontrollers with eXtreme Low Power (XLP) Technology. The kit makes it easy to develop smart-energy, wireless-sensor applications that are powered by radio waves — eliminating the need for a battery.

The kit is composed of a 3-watt Powercaster™ transmitter as the power source, two P2110 Powerharvester® receiver evaluation boards, two custom-designed wireless sensor boards, the XLP 16-bit Development Board pre-loaded with jointly developed application software, an IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver, and other accessories. The included transmitter can wirelessly power sensor devices from more than 40 feet away.

In the Lifetime Power kit, the Powercaster transmitter broadcasts RF energy to the Powerharvester receiver, which can be embedded into an OEM’s micro-power device. The receiver then converts the RF energy and presents it as a regulated power supply to Microchip’s PIC24F microcontroller.

Broadcasted RF energy is controllable (can be scheduled, continuous, or on-demand) and works in locations where other potentially intermittent energy-harvesting sources (such as solar, vibration, and heat) make them unreliable.

Microchip’s configurable MiWi™ and MiWi P2P stacks are efficient and save power by enabling only the most essential wireless communication features.