The University of Southampton

New research project will develop future generation energy-harvesting

Published: 6 October 2009

Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi, Co-Director of the ECS Pervasive Systems Centre, is leading a new £1.6M project, funded by the EPSRC, which will develop ultra energy-efficient electronic systems for emerging applications including mobile digital health and autonomous wireless monitoring in environmental and industrial settings.

Southampton is one of four universities (the others are Bristol, Newcastle, and Imperial College) which will undertake this three-year collaborative research project in partnership with five industrial companies: QinetiQ, Zetex, ARM, NXP and Mentor Graphics.

‘There is now a consensus that we are entering the era of electronics powered, or at least augmented by, energy harvesters,’ said Professor Al-Hashimi. ‘Future self-powered applications will require electronic systems that are more complex and more compact but also intelligent, adaptive and able to perform more computation with less energy.’

The new research programme will take a holistic design approach to the complex issues surrounding the development of next-generation energy-harvesting systems and the research partners aim to exploit the interactions between the micro-generator, power conditioning circuitry and computational electronics in order to make efficient use of the energy generated.

The new design methodology will be incorporated into a novel mixed-technology domain modelling and performance optimization design toolkit. This design approach is fundamental to ultra energy-efficient design and to the miniaturisation of next-generation wireless electronics.

‘The research joins up three different research fields,’ said Professor Al-Hashimi, ‘including energy harvesting and MEMS processing methods, low-power embedded computing systems, and electronic design automation. This requires interdisciplinary collaboration which the Pervasive Systems Centre is in a unique position to facilitate.’

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+(0)23 8059 5453

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