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Press Releases and Announcements

ViewTag Chooses Powercast Wireless Power Technology for Electronic Bag Tag

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ViewTag Chooses Powercast Wireless Power Technology for Electronic Bag Tag

Embedded Powerharvester chipset preserves battery life so tag can be reused over 3000 times

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Powercast Corporation, the leader in radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range wireless power technology, announced that ViewTag, the pioneer of the electronic bag tag, has selected its Powerharvester® Chipset for battery management so that the ViewTag Electronic Bag Tag (EBT) can be reused over 3000 times.

The digital ViewTag snaps onto luggage and allows customers to tag their own bags, reducing their airport check-in experience to a simple bag drop. British Airways is the first to roll ViewTag out to its customers (http://www.ba.com/tag), with more airlines expected to launch in 2020. Passengers use their Bluetooth-enabled phone and the airline’s app to check-in, get their boarding pass and synchronize their itinerary to their tag. Passengers can also easily transfer the tag between bags.

ViewTag is equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a digital display, a lithium battery, and Powercast’s Powerharvester Chipset, which is comprised of a wireless power RF-to-DC converter chip and boost converter IC. Powercast’s technology preserves the battery by keeping the tag dormant until it detects and harvests RF energy over the air from nearby airport RFID scanning equipment, at which time it updates the screen with the passenger’s itinerary. The tag is capable of over 3000 itinerary updates.

Powercast will display ViewTag at CES 2020 in its booth #42161 at the Sands Expo.

About Powercast:
Powercast is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that work in the far field (up to 80 feet) to provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors.  Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards.   Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 50 patents worldwide (25 in the US) and 29 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.

About ViewTag:
ViewTag® is a permanent, electronic bag tag (EBT) that securely attaches to luggage for convenient itinerary information writing and airline check-in. Equipped with RFID, Bluetooth LE, and a digital display of flight information, it fits seamlessly into the scanning sortation equipment used in every airport around the world. Headquartered outside of Philadelphia, PA, ViewTag pioneered the EBT for the airline industry. Viewtag.com.

Note: Visuals are available: https://www.powercastco.com/visuals/

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a5d0f3d1-ce79-42c4-ae8c-afb418de4dc5

Contact:
Michelle Moody

+1.214.363.3460

Powercast’s PowerSpot Wireless Transmitter Wins Golden Mousetrap Best in Show & Two Gold Awards

By | Powercast In The News, Press Releases and Announcements | No Comments

Powercast’s PowerSpot Wireless Transmitter Wins Golden Mousetrap Best in Show & Two Gold Awards

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Powercast Corporation announced that its PowerSpot® over-the-air wireless power transmitter took home three honors in the Design News 2019 Golden Mousetrap Awards, including the coveted Best in Show, and Gold in the Electronics and Test categories of Power Management, and IoT and Connectivity. Industry experts from the IoT, Automotive, 3D Printing and Materials industries joined forces with the editors of Design News to select winners based on their level of innovation, benefits to user, and market differentiation. The annual awards ceremony took place February 5 in Anaheim, California at the nation’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event, Pacific Design & Manufacturing: https://www.designnews.com/content/design-news-honors-distinguished-products-companies-2019-golden-mousetrap-awards/122552156760214

Charles Greene, Ph.D., chief operating and technical officer of Powercast, said, “We are humbled that our PowerSpot transmitter received Golden Mousetrap’s first ever Best in Show, as well as two Gold awards. It is an honor to be recognized by Design News, the leading industry publication for design engineers.”

Powercast’s PowerSpot transmitter, which began shipping in September 2018, is the industry’s first FCC- and ISED-approved RF-based wireless transmitter that works in the far field (up to 80 feet) to charge multiple consumer devices over the air – no charging mats needed.

Creating a coverage area similar to Wi-Fi, the smart, Bluetooth-enabled PowerSpot transmitter detects PowerSpot-enabled devices when they come within range, automatically delivers power and then turns off when they’re completely charged. The transmitter uses the 915-MHz ISM band to send RF energy over the air to Powercast’s tiny Powerharvester® receiver chip embedded in a device, which converts it to direct current (DC) to either directly power or recharge that device’s batteries.

Powercast recently unveiled its own consumer product, Wireless Charging Grips for Nintendo Switch Controllers, that pairs with the PowerSpot transmitter and automatically charges when within feet of it. The company plans delivery in Q3. Powercast’s vision is to enable long-range, true wireless charging where consumers simply place all their PowerSpot-enabled devices within range of a PowerSpot transmitter in their home or a public place.

About Powercast
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that work in the far field (up to 80 feet) to provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors.  Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards.  Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 50 patents worldwide (25 in the US) and 29 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7e912a83-fb6b-4ad8-a208-910057c41207

Contact:
Michelle Moody

+1.214.363.3460

Powercast to Unveil Over-the-Air Wireless Charging Grips for Nintendo Joy-Con Controllers at CES

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Powercast to Unveil Over-the-Air Wireless Charging Grips for Nintendo Joy-Con Controllers at CES

Contactless wireless power gains momentum at CES with these grips, digital luggage tags, wirelessly illuminated printed electronics products and more

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Powercast Corporation today announced that it would unveil at CES Wireless Charging Grips for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers, the world’s first gaming product that charges over the air without wires, plugs or charging mats. These grips automatically charge when within feet of Powercast’s FCC- and ISED-approved PowerSpot® radio frequency (RF) wireless power transmitter, so users never have to dock their controllers, plug into power, or stop playing due to a low battery.

Grips on the market today are simple plastic accessories that Nintendo Joy-Con game controllers snap into that make them easier to hold.  Powercast has added contactless wireless charging functionality to create intelligent grips (left, right and double-controller versions) that charge Joy-Cons and double as a backup battery pack.

Powercast’s Powerharvester® receiver and a battery are embedded in the grips. The Powerharvester harnesses power sent over the air to charge the embedded battery, which then charges the batteries in the Joy-Cons until they are fully charged. The grips also act as a backup battery pack, keeping the Joy-Con batteries topped off when out of the transmitter’s range for about 38 hours of gameplay on one charge.

Gamers never have to dock their Joy-Con controllers and instead can leave them inside the grips for carefree wireless charging.  The grips receive power when placed within about two feet of the PowerSpot transmitter, achieving a full charge between gaming sessions. An LED illuminates when the grips are charging and turns off when they’re done.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) enables intelligent wireless charging where power is only sent as needed. The grips request power from the transmitter when their batteries are low, and tell it to stop when charged.

Powercast’s focus remains helping its customers develop their own power-over-distance wireless charging consumer devices. Demonstrations are planned in Powercast’s CES booth, and the company expects multiple product releases in 2019.

Charles Greene, Ph.D., chief operating and technical officer of Powercast, explains the company’s inspiration for also bringing its own wireless charging device to market. “Many of us at Powercast are Nintendo Switch gamers, and we often found that we’d let our batteries die by forgetting to dock our controllers,” said Greene. “Realizing our technology could solve the problem, we developed a product that lets the Joy-Cons charge without docking when you walk away from a gaming session.”

Greene continued, “Our vision is to enable long-range, true wireless charging where consumers simply place all their PowerSpot-enabled devices within range of a PowerSpot transmitter in their home or a public place.” Up to 30 enabled devices in the charging zone will automatically connect and receive power, sharing the transmitter’s three-watt (EIRP) output. Instructions included with enabled devices will show their recommended charging distance and time.

“We are proud of our track record of delivering practical wireless power products that work, safely and responsibly, under FCC and other global standards,” said Greene. “We’ve developed the most efficient power harvesting technology that’s permitted within today’s standards. Our robust technology also has capabilities beyond that, so look for our product releases to evolve as regulations do.”

More information, visuals and videos about the Wireless Charging Grips: www.powercastco.com/grips

At CES 2019:
Powercast will be in booth #41767 at the Sands Expo in the Smart Home Marketplace. The company will showcase first versions of its Wireless Charging Grips, which it plans to bring to market in Q3 2019. Powercast will also feature its PowerSpot transmitter, FCC- and ISED-approved in late December 2017, which began shipping in Q3 from distributors Arrow, Digi-Key, and Mouser Electronics.

Powercast will also demonstrate wirelessly rechargeable headphones, a keyboard, smart card, and various sensor devices along with development tools that facilitate wireless power designs.

Powercast will also showcase several wirelessly powered consumer products developed with partners. The first example is ViewTag’s reusable, updateable digital luggage tag, which British Airways is expected to make available to its passengers beginning early 2019. Passengers can check their bag in from anywhere via their Bluetooth-enabled phone, and then simply drop it off at check-in. The embedded technologies enable swift check-in with future bag-tracking capabilities built in as well. Batteryless printed electronics products jointly developed with PPG (NYSE: PPG) will also be on display, including LED-based wireless illumination solutions for smart consumer packaging, smart identification (ID) cards, and reconfigurable retail price tags. For more information on this partnership, please visit: www.powercastco.com/PPGTeslinDemo

About Powercast
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that work in the far field (up to 80 feet) to provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors.  Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards.   Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 50 patents worldwide (25 in the US) and 29 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.

NOTES:
ViewTag is a registered trademark of ViewTag LLC. Teslin and the PPG Logo are registered trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc. Nintendo, Switch, and Joy-Con are registered trademarks of Nintendo.  Powercast, Powerharvester, PowerSpot and the Powercast Logo are registered trademarks of Powercast Corporation.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2c595f90-79d8-42a4-955a-3e44c967f754

A video accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2622aa3a-19ac-46ad-bdc1-2eee1dc9c33d

Contact:
Michelle Moody

+1.214.363.3460

PPG, Powercast announce partnership to develop ultra-thin, wirelessly powered printed electronics

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PPG, Powercast announce partnership to develop ultra-thin, wirelessly powered printed electronics

Applications include illuminated consumer product packaging, smart identification cards

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PPG (NYSE: PPG) and Powercast Corporation today announced a joint development agreement to produce ultra-thin and wirelessly powered printed electronics products. The advanced solutions combine PPG TESLIN® substratePPG conductive inks and Powercast’s POWERHARVESTER® receiver technology for delivering over-the-air wireless power.

Powercast and PPG will introduce LED-based wireless illumination solutions for smart consumer packaging and smart identification (ID) cards, which enable enhanced security. With this technology, smart consumer packaging lights up to showcase products on a shelf. Smart ID cards also illuminate to permit or deny access to restricted areas or to verify user credentials.

The companies’ combined technologies allow developers to seal electronics into packaging and cards via lamination to provide indefinite illumination without wires, batteries, charging ports or direct contact with a power source.

“Powercast is excited to partner with PPG to deliver differentiation to the product packaging and secure credential markets,” said Charles Greene, Ph.D., chief operating and technology officer, Powercast. “PPG Teslin substrate and the company’s conductive inks have great radio frequency (RF) characteristics, which complement Powercast’s long-range wireless power technology.”

The illuminated products are created by printing graphics or information on one side of PPG Teslin substrate using conventional or digital print technologies. The electronic circuitry is printed directly onto the opposite side of the substrate using PPG’s conductive inks. The ultra-thin (1 millimeter or less) Powerharvester wireless power receiver chip and other components are then attached to the substrate using conductive epoxy, and the label is laminated to seal in the electronic circuitry.

Powercast’s embedded Powerharvester receiver chips harness RF energy wirelessly from a Powercast POWERSPOT® transmitter or other RF source. The harnessed RF is turned into useable direct current (DC) energy to power embedded electronics and LEDs.

The two companies will showcase wireless illumination applications for smart packaging and ID cards at the IDTechEx Show, Nov. 14-15 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. PPG will be in booth P27, and Powercast will be in booth A24.

The first showcased application, a PPG Teslin label affixed to the front of a six-pack of beer (courtesy of Straub Brewing, Inc., St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania), will illuminate the package and draw attention to the Straub brand. The second application is a smart ID card that authenticates a user based on proximity to an ID reader.

“A smart illumination solution using Powercast technology is a perfect complement to PPG’s current offering for secure credentials and label and packaging applications,” said Greg Terchick, PPG business director, Teslin substrate products. “The products we are developing with Powercast will enable our customers in these segments to create highly differentiated, value-added solutions for their customers.”

“The technology sharing between PPG and Powercast is an excellent example of the type of collaboration that continues to strengthen PPG,” said John Yundt, PPG global market manager, electronic and conductive materials. “We see this partnership as an ideal way to use the unique synergies of our broad portfolio of coatings and materials technologies to help our customers find solutions.”

Durable, flexible and water-resistant, PPG Teslin substrate is a microporous synthetic paper with the unique ability to cushion printed electronic circuitry while withstanding the handling and abuse typically associated with credential and packaging applications. PPG Teslin substrate provides an ideal surface material for enhancing the functionality and extending the service lives of illuminated and smart consumer packaging and identification cards.

PPG’s state-of-the-art polymer thick film conductive inks are uniquely formulated to meet a wide range of printed electronic circuitry applications, including printed radio-frequency identification (RFID) and mobile antennas, membrane switch and capacitive touch panels, flexible OPV solar panels, printed sensors and medical biosensors.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Visuals are available at https://www.powercastco.com/PPGTeslinDemo

About Powercast
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors. Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power-harvesting technology achievable while complying with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other global standards. Powercast’s intellectual property portfolio includes 46 patents worldwide (21 in the U.S.) and 30 patents pending. To learn more, visit www.powercastco.com.

PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™
At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $14.7 billion in 2017. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

We protect and beautify the world is a trademark and Teslin and the PPG Logo are registered trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
Powercast, Powerharvester, PowerSpot and the Powercast Logo are registered trademarks of Powercast Corporation.
Straub is a trademark of Straub Brewing Inc.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3cc2d1d5-399f-469e-8208-850ebaaede76

PPG Media Contacts: 
Brande Juart
PPG TESLIN Substrate
+1 412-325-5203
 
www.ppgteslin.com

Jamie Cowden
Industrial Coatings
+1 412-434-3082
 
www.ppgmetalcoatings.com 

Powercast Media Contact:
Michelle Moody
+1 214-363-3460

Powercast ships PowerSpot power-over-distance wireless transmitter

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Powercast ships PowerSpot power-over-distance wireless transmitter

Also launches development kit to facilitate design of PowerSpot-based wireless charging ecosystems

PITTSBURGH, Pa., Sept. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Powercast Corporation, the pioneer of radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range wireless charging technology, announced that it has begun shipping its three-watt, Bluetooth®-approved PowerSpot® transmitter which is the industry’s first that works in the far field (up to 80 feet) to charge multiple consumer devices over the air – no charging mats needed. Powercast began production of its PowerSpot transmitter after receiving FCC (ID: YESTX91503) and ISED (Canada IC: 8985A-TX91503) approval late December 2017, promising delivery in Q3 2018. The company is also launching a development kit to help manufacturers easily design PowerSpot-based wireless charging ecosystems.

How Powercast’s patented remote wireless charging technology works:
Creating a coverage area similar to Wi-Fi, the PowerSpot transmitter automatically powers or charges PowerSpot-enabled devices when they come within range. The transmitter uses the 915-MHz ISM band to send RF energy over the air to Powercast’s tiny Powerharvester® receiver chip embedded in a device, which converts it to direct current (DC) to either directly power or recharge that device’s batteries. The Bluetooth-approved transmitter detects devices within range and automatically begins delivering power.

The company’s vision is to enable long-range, true wireless charging where consumers simply place all their PowerSpot-enabled devices within range of a PowerSpot transmitter in their home or a public place.

The PowerSpot creates an overnight charging zone of up to 80 feet free of wires or charging mats:
The PowerSpot transmitter was designed to automatically top off up to 30 PowerSpot-enabled devices left on a countertop overnight in its charging zone, which varies with device type and power consumption. Instructions included with enabled devices will show recommended charging distance and time for that device. For example, power-hungry, heavily used devices like game controllers, smart watches, fitness bands, hearing aids, or headsets charge best up to two feet away; keyboards and mice up to six feet away; smart cards and TV remotes up to 10 feet away; and low-power devices like home automation sensors up to 80 feet away. On the transmitter, an illuminated LED indicates devices are charging and it turns off when they’re done. Audible or visual alerts indicate when devices move in and out of the charge zone.

The Bluetooth-approved PowerSpot features a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) multiprotocol solution that makes the transmitter smart, configurable, and controllable. For example, BLE wirelessly schedules power transmissions, monitors battery status of charging devices, turns off the transmitter when devices are fully charged, and communicates data (detected devices and their IDs, BLE signal strength, charging level, and more) to the PowerSpot app.

“We’re excited about a consumer product we’re designing that is powered via our PowerSpot transmitter, but our main focus is on helping consumer device manufacturers develop their own PowerSpot-based wireless charging ecosystems,” said Powercast’s COO/CTO Charles Greene, Ph.D. “We already have numerous deals with Fortune 200 companies, and we expect product releases, theirs and ours, in 2019.”

PowerSpot development kit facilitates the design of PowerSpot-based wireless charging ecosystems:
The development kit enables engineers to test the PowerSpot’s capability to charge devices using multiple battery types. This data can help them decide if the wireless power solution is a fit for their application, and then plan their designs. It includes the PowerSpot TX91503 transmitter, a development board able to charge three kinds of batteries (a Li-ion 2032 coin cell battery, a Li-Mn single AA, and 3 Ni-MH AAAs in series), two Powerharvester receiving antennas (patch and dipole), and two PS915 illuminated RF field detectors. The development board communicates with the PowerSpot via BLE to turn it on and off, and communicates key data to the development kit’s Powercast Charging Monitor app. The board also includes an LED indicator that demonstrates how distance from the transmitter impacts charging rate.

Pricing and Availability:
The PowerSpot transmitter sells for around $100 from distributors Arrow, Digi-Key, and Mouser Electronics. The package includes a PowerSpot TX91503 RF wireless transmitter, six-foot power cord, USB wall outlet adapter, and quick start guide.

Once the transmitter reaches mass production, Powercast projects a $50 ASP from major electronics stores or consumer electronics manufacturers offering it as a charging option.

The development kit, expected Q4 2018, will sell for around $400 from the same distributors.

About Powercast
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors.  Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards.   Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 46 patents worldwide (21 in the US) and 30 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.

Note: Visuals are available: https://www.powercastco.com/visuals/

Contact:
Michelle Moody
michelle@moodypr.com
+1.214.363.3460

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/cdee9da3-5a73-422e-837c-9d8b27791ef9

Bluetooth Low Energy-equipped power transmitter wirelessly charges wearables and other portable electronic devices fitted with RF energy harvesting chips

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Original press release posted by Nordic Semiconductor here

Bluetooth Low Energy-equipped power transmitter wirelessly charges wearables and other portable electronic devices fitted with RF energy harvesting chips

Powercast’s ‘PowerSpot TX91503 wireless transmitter’ employs Nordic’s nRF51422 Bluetooth LE multiprotocol solution for wirelessly scheduling power transmissions and monitoring battery status of charging devices

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Powercast Corporation, a Pittsburgh, PA-based RF wireless power technology company, has selected Nordic’s nRF51422 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) for its ‘PowerSpot® TX91503 PowerSpot wireless transmitter’, which the developer claims is the first FCC- and ISED-approved solution to provide far-field wireless power over distance for mobile consumer electronics applications.

Employing a 915-MHz RF signal, the PowerSpot wireless transmitter outputs up to 3W Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) (and associated ID data) that can directly power or charge up to 30 portable low-power devices—including fitness bands, wireless headphones, game controllers, hearing aids, and a variety of smartcards—that are fitted with Powercast’s patented embeddable ‘Powerharvester®’ technology.

The Powerharvester solution consists of a proprietary converter chip and a boost converter chip that once integrated in end devices, harvest intentional energy from the PowerSpot wireless transmitter as well as anticipated and ambient RF energy from other RF sources. The chips then convert that energy to DC power that can then be used to charge batteries or directly power the enabled devices.

Acting as the main ‘brain’ of the PowerSpot TX91503 wireless transmitter, the 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M0 CPU-powered Nordic nRF51422 SoC makes the transmitter ‘smart’, configurable, and controllable. For example, it configures and controls the transmitter’s 915MHz oscillator/PA subsection that feeds the power antenna and turns off the transmitter when wirelessly-connected devices are fully charged. The nRF51422 SoC also provides Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity for communication between the user’s end devices and the transmitter to monitor the battery staus of connected devices. This Bluetooth LE wireless connectvity also allows the user to employ a Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet to remotely monitor device charge levels and set timers for the transmitter to charge devices during certain periods, for example overnight, via Powercast’s iOS or Android companion app.

“We leveraged Nordic’s highly-integrated hardware and SoftDevice to do everything in a single chip for a much simpler design”

Eric Biel, Powercast

The PowerSpot wireless transmitter automatically powers enabled devices it detects within its charging zone and stops charging when no devices are within range. According to the company, the wireless transmitter can charge and power smaller, less power hungry devices—such as smart cards and basic sensors—at distances up to 24 meters while for more power hungry devices like game controllers, headphones, and smartwatches, the most suitable charging range is typically within 30cm. The transmitter itself can be mains- or USB-powered, so the ultra low power consumption of the nRF51422 SoC was important to keep the temperature of the 915-MHz subcircuit low, and enhance the efficiency of wireless power transmission.

Nordic’s nRF51422 SoC is a powerful, highly flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for ANT™ and Bluetooth LE ultra low power wireless applications. The nRF51422 is built around the Arm CPU and includes 256kB/128kB Flash + 32kB/16kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S310 SoftDevice, an ANT and Bluetooth LE RF protocol software ‘stack’ for building concurrent ANT and Bluetooth LE solutions.

“Rather than needing a separate microcontroller and Bluetooth LE radio, we leveraged Nordic’s highly-integrated hardware and SoftDevice to do everything in a single chip for a much simpler design with elegant circuitry,” says Eric Biel, Principal Engineer at Powercast. “We also needed low power consumption, and here again the Nordic SoC excelled.

“Finally, the pricing and availability of the nRF51422, along with Nordic’s hardware and software support, allowed us to accelerate the development schedule.”

 

 

 

View the release here

Powercast’s Wireless Charging Technology Available Globally from Digi-Key

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Powercast’s Wireless Charging Technology Available Globally from Digi-Key

PITTSBURGH and THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn., Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Powercast Corporation’s radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range power-over-distance wireless power components are now available worldwide through Digi-Key Electronics, a global electronic components distributor, thanks to a new distribution agreement. Digi-Key will offer everything needed for manufacturers to design wirelessly powered devices using Powercast’s wireless power technology, which works in the far field (up to 80 feet) for automatic, contactless, over-the-air charging of multiple devices. This will include Powercast’s chipsets, RF transmitters, modules, development kits and evaluation boards: https://www.digikey.com/en/supplier-centers/p/powercast.

“We have helped customers power their commercial and industrial systems since 2003, but with the recent surge of interest from consumer device manufacturers, this partnership with Digi-Key is the perfect way to facilitate their product development,” said Powercast’s COO/CTO Charles Greene, Ph.D.

Powercast’s technology features the embeddable Powerharvester® receiver (PCC110), which harvests RF energy sent over the air via the 915 MHz ISM band from either of Powercast’s FCC and ISED-approved RF transmitters (PowerSpot® TX91503 for consumer electronics or Powercaster® TX91501 for commercial and industrial applications). The Powerharvester then converts the RF to DC to directly power a battery-less device or recharge a device’s batteries.

Powercast recommends starting designs with a drop-in Powerharvester module – either the P1110B for battery recharging or P2110B for battery-less devices like wireless sensors – for simple and fast testing and prototyping. Both modules contain the Powerharvester PCC110 chip along with necessary tuning components. The P1110B also includes overvoltage protection circuitry to protect the chips and external battery. The P2110B also includes the PCC210 boost converter and stores energy in an external capacitor for designing battery-free wireless sensing systems. There are also development kits and evaluation boards that support both Powerharvester modules.

Digi-Key will also carry Powercast’s Multi-Sensor RFID Tags for environmental monitoring (temperature, humidity and light), including battery-free (PCT100) and rechargeable battery (PCT200) versions.

“We are excited to work with Powercast, the pioneer of RF-based power-over-distance technology, to help more manufacturers worldwide create their own wirelessly powered ecosystems,” said David Stein, VP, Global Supplier Management at Digi-Key. “We believe our customer base will enjoy the freedom of movement Powercast’s products create for all their design and application requirements.”

About Powercast:
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors.  Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards.   Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 46 patents worldwide (21 in the US) and 30 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.

About Digi-Key Electronics:
Digi-Key Electronics, headquartered in Thief River Falls, Minn., USA, is an authorized global, full-service distributor of electronic components, offering more than 8.1 million products, with over 1.4 million in stock and available for immediate shipment, from over 750 quality name-brand manufacturers. Digi-Key also offers a wide variety of online resources such as EDA and design tools, datasheets, reference designs, instructional articles and videos, multimedia libraries, and much more. Technical support is available 24/7 via email, phone and webchat. Additional information and access to Digi-Key’s broad product offering can be found by visiting www.digikey.com.

Contacts:

Powercast: 
Michelle Moody

+1.214.363.3460

Digi-Key Electronics:
Kayla Krosschell


1-800-338-4105 x1098

Powercast’s thin 0.3mm Powerharvester wireless power receiver charges smart cards, other compact devices over the air

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Powercast’s thin 0.3mm Powerharvester wireless power receiver charges smart cards, other compact devices over the air

Harvests RF energy from intentional RF transmitters or anticipated RF sources such as NFC or UHF RFID readers

PITTSBURGH, Pa., May 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Powercast Corporation, the pioneer of radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range power-over-distance wireless charging technology, today announced a smaller Powerharvester® wireless power receiver and RF-to-DC converter chip (PCC114) for its Powerharvester Chipset (comprised of a wireless power receiver chip and complementary boost converter IC). Designed for embedding in space-constrained consumer designs like smart cards or hearing aids, the new chip builds on Powercast’s existing Powerharvester receiver (PCC110), which has been deployed in industrial and commercial wireless power systems for seven years. Powercast used that experience to refine and reduce the size of its technology specifically for the consumer market. The new PCC114 receiver chip’s footprint (1mm x 0.6mm x 0.3mm) is seven times smaller than the existing PCC110 (2mm x 2.1mm x 0.9mm) and has 20 times less volume, facilitating the design of ultra-compact, wirelessly-powered devices.

How Powercast’s patented remote wireless power technology works:
A Powerharvester receiver (PCC114 or PCC110) embedded in a device harvests the RF energy sent over the air from either an “intentional” or “anticipated” RF source, then converts it to DC to directly power a batteryless device or recharge a device’s batteries.

An intentional RF source is an RF transmitter in the home, office, public place or industrial setting, like Powercast’s new FCC-approved PowerSpot® far field (up to 80 feet) transmitter.  It creates a coverage area much like Wi-Fi and automatically charges enabled devices over the air when in range. Manufacturers can use the PowerSpot either in its standalone form or its subassembly for quick integration into their own products, or they can license Powercast’s technology and design their own RF transmitter. PowerSpot tops off devices left on a countertop overnight in its charging zone, which varies with device type and power consumption. For example, power-hungry, heavily used devices like hearing aids, ear buds, game controllers, smart watches, fitness bands or headphones charge best up to two feet away; keyboards and mice up to six feet away; smart cards and TV remotes up to 10 feet away; and low-power devices like home automation sensors up to 80 feet away. Audible or visual alerts indicate when devices move in and out of the charge zone.

Anticipated RF sources, such as UHF (ultra-high frequency) RFID inventory readers or NFC (near field communications) POS readers, could charge devices at the interaction point. The Powerharvester chip can harvest energy from the RF source at close range (centimeters for NFC or a few meters for UHF RFID) to power the device and enable contactless payment, ticketing, or data-change transactions. For example, using a typical RFID reader, Powercast’s Batteryless UHF Retail Price Tag can be changed electronically from two meters (6.5 feet) away, and its Multi-Sensor RFID Tags can be powered and read from ten meters (32 feet) away.

Wirelessly-powered smart cards are smarter, more feature-rich:
Wireless power harvesting enables smart cards that can be recharged while in use, so they offer power-hungry features without running out of juice. Examples include, advanced security components like a fingerprint sensor, ePaper displays that retain data like balances or one-time PINs even when outside the power field, and hotel door access cards, loyalty/gift cards, or subway passes that become reusable/reloadable.

Powerharvester chip specifics:
Operating across a wide RF power (-17 to +20dBm) and frequency (10MHz to 6GHz) range, the new Powerharvester PCC114 converts RF to DC with up to 75 percent efficiency, harvests from all modulation types, works with standard 50-ohm antennas and is RoHS compliant.  The company expects consumer designs using this new chip to be shipping in 12 to 18 months. This chip is sold and supported directly from Powercast.

Powercast will also continue to market its existing Powerharvester PCC110 chip (SC-70 package) for less space-constrained designs.

The Powerharvester Chipset also includes the existing, complementary PCC210 boost converter IC, which works with both (PCC114 and PCC110) Powerharvester wireless power receiver chips. This PCC210 comes in a SOT23-6 package, can work with inputs down to 0.4V, is capable of 5.5V at 50mA, and offers resistor-programmable output voltage. Reference designs are available, and include schematics, PCB layout, bill of materials and performance data.

For more information: https://www.powercastco.com/products/powerharvester-receivers/

About Powercast
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors.  Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards.   Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 46 patents worldwide (21 in the US) and 30 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.

Note: Visuals and a video are available at: https://www.powercastco.com/visuals/

Contact:
Michelle Moody
michelle@moodypr.com
+1.214.363.3460

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://resource.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/27cbff77-a1a5-4db4-bd83-def77641b77c

Powercast will demonstrate the industry’s first Batteryless UHF Retail Price Tag at RFID Journal LIVE!

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Powercast Demonstrates Industry’s First Batteryless Electronic UHF Retail Price Tag

Enables quick electronic price updates freeing retailers from changing paper labels and batteries

PITTSBURGH, April 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Powercast Corporation, the pioneer of radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range power-over-distance wireless charging technology, announced that it will demonstrate the industry’s first Batteryless Electronic UHF (Ultrahigh Frequency) Retail Price Tag at RFID Journal LIVE! (Booth #1260) being held in Orlando, April 10 – 12. It is a finalist for the show’s Best New RFID Product 2018 Award, with winners announced April 12. The demonstration will feature Powercast’s RF-to-DC power harvesting technology which can wirelessly update an electronic paper (ePaper) display, sending data and power over the air up to two meters away using a standard UHF RFID reader. Powercast’s technology enables quick electronic price changes, operates perpetually without batteries, and works with typical UHF RFID readers (handheld and fixed).

Powercast developed the concept tag to free retailers from having to change paper labels as well as the batteries required by the industry’s battery-powered electronic price tags – both of which are labor-intensive jobs. An RFID reader can update a whole shelf of product prices within a few seconds.

How Powercast’s Batteryless Electronic UHF Retail Price Tag Concept Works:
Select the tag(s) to update and the new price in an app on a handheld UHF reader. (Retailers can easily integrate this function into their system.) Point the reader at the price tag, up to two meters away, to securely send pricing data and RF energy over the air to Powercast’s tiny PCC110 Powerharvester® wireless power receiver chip embedded in the tag. The chip converts RF to DC to power the tag without batteries, and updates the display with the new, authenticated price in a few seconds. The tags don’t need batteries because they can harvest enough power just from a UHF RFID reader to operate perpetually.

Other Enabling Technology in the Batteryless Price Tag:
Powercast chose an ePaper display from E Ink because it can efficiently maintain the price image on the tag even when it’s outside of/not being directly powered by the UHF field. With both active matrix and segmented displays possible when designing electronic tags, the E Ink segmented display Powercast selected offers a more economical solution than the active matrix displays typically used in battery-powered electronic tags. Further, it doesn’t require a high-end display driver.

An evaluation kit for the Batteryless Electronic UHF Retail Price Tag is expected in Q4 2018 from distributors Arrow Electronics and Mouser Electronics.  The concept tag is available for license or Powercast will work with partners to design their own batteryless price tags using Powercast’s PCC110 chip.

https://www.powercastco.com/products/rfid-price-tag/

About Powercast

Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors.  Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 46 patents worldwide (21 in the US) and 30 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.

Note: Multimedia is available:https://www.powercastco.com/visuals/

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at
http://resource.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/368dd727-a680-406a-9bbb-041f29de66ac

Contact:
Michelle Moody

+1.214.363.3460

Powercast to unveil FCC-approved consumer transmitter for power-over-distance wireless charging at CES 2018

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Powercast to unveil FCC-approved consumer transmitter for power-over-distance wireless charging at CES 2018

PowerSpot is industry’s first over-the-air, far-field (up to 80 feet) RF charger for consumer devices to get FCC nod

Pittsburgh, PA – December 26, 2017 – Powercast Corporation, the pioneer of radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range power-over-distance wireless charging technology, announced that it will unveil at CES (booth #40268) its FCC-approved (Part 15, FCC ID: YESTX91503) and ISED-approved (Canada IC: 8985A-TX91503) three-watt PowerSpot® transmitter which works in the far field (up to 80 feet) for over-the-air charging of multiple devices – no charging mats or direct line of sight needed. Powercast used the experience it gained powering industrial and commercial devices with its initial Powercaster® transmitter (FCC and ISED approved in 2010) to develop the new smaller, smarter and less expensive PowerSpot transmitter specifically for the consumer market. The PowerSpot is the industry’s first long-range, far-field, powerover-distance wireless recharging transmitter for consumer devices to gain FCC and ISED approval.

How Powercast’s patented remote wireless charging technology works:

Creating a coverage area like Wi-Fi, a Powercast transmitter automatically charges enabled devices when within range. The transmitter uses the 915-MHz ISM band to send RF energy to a tiny Powercast receiver chip embedded in a device, which converts it to direct current (DC) to directly power or recharge that device’s batteries.

Powercast will begin production of its standalone PowerSpot charger now that it is FCC approved and is also offering a PowerSpot subassembly that consumer goods manufacturers can integrate into their own products. Consider lamps, appliances, set-top boxes, gaming systems, computer monitors, furniture or vehicle dashboards that become “PowerSpots” able to charge multiple enabled devices around them. Powercast is in discussions with several manufacturers, and has inked deals with two household names, since releasing a wireless power development kit in early 2017 containing the PowerSpot subassembly.

“Consumer electronics manufacturers can now confidently build our FCC-approved technology into their wireless charging ecosystems, and offer their customers convenient far-field charging where devices charge over the air from a power source without needing direct contact, like inductive charging requires, or near direct contact, like magnetic resonance requires,” said Powercast’s COO/CTO Charles Greene, Ph.D.

The company’s vision is to enable long-range, true wireless charging where consumers simply place all Powercast-enabled devices for charging within range of a PowerSpot in their home or a public place.

“Others might be talking RF power possibilities, but we have consistently delivered far-field wireless power solutions that work, safely and responsibly, under FCC and other global standards providing power up to 80 feet,” said Greene. “Our robust technology has capabilities beyond today’s permitted standards, so our product releases will evolve as regulations do.”

The PowerSpot creates an overnight charging zone of up to 80 feet free of wires or charging mats:

Enabled devices charge when in range, but don’t need direct line of sight to the PowerSpot. Powercast expects up to 30 devices left in the zone on a countertop or desktop overnight can charge by morning, sharing the transmitter’s three-watt (EIRP) power output. Charging rates will vary with distance, type and power consumption of a device. Power-hungry, heavily used devices like game controllers, smart watches, fitness bands, hearing aids, ear buds, or headphones charge best up to two feet away; keyboards and mice up to six feet away; TV remotes and smart cards up to 10 feet away; and low-power devices like home automation sensors (window breakage, temperature) up to 80 feet away. An illuminated LED indicates devices are charging and it turns off when they’re done. Audible alerts indicate when devices move in and out of the charge zone.

The PowerSpot transmitter uses Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) modulation for power and Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK) modulation for data, and includes an integrated 6dBi directional antenna with a 70-degree beam pattern.

“We know consumers also want to charge mobile phones, so at CES, we will showcase a technology demonstration, developed with a partner, of a PowerSpot transmitter that adds the Qi inductive wireless charging standard adopted by many mobile phones,” said Greene. “This combination would provide a best-of-both-worlds solution, operating within the FCC regulations that exist today, including RF over-theair charging for multiple PowerSpot-enabled devices placed near the transmitter, and Qi proximity charging for power-hungry Qi-enabled mobile phones placed directly on the Qi charger on top of the PowerSpot transmitter.”

At CES:
Powercast will demonstrate prototypes of its PowerSpot, 7.3″ long x 2.1″ tall x 1.4″ wide, as well as wirelessly-powered game controllers, headphones, smart watches, earbuds, smart clothing, illuminated retail packaging, and reconfigurable retail price tags. PowerSpot production units are expected in Q3 2018 for about $100 from distributors Arrow Electronics and Mouser Electronics. Once PowerSpot reaches mass production, Powercast projects a $50 ASP from major electronics stores or from consumer electronics manufacturers offering it as a charging option.

More information including a Q&A: https://www.powercastco.com/powerspot/

About Powercast
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that
provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices
without wires and connectors. Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 45 patents worldwide (21 in the US) and
30 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.
# # #
Note: Visuals are available: https://www.powercastco.com/visuals/
Contact:
Michelle Moody
michelle@moodypr.com
+1.214.363.3460