Cymbet Corp. of Elk River, Minn., unveiled the EnerChip, a thin form-factor battery device that promises environmentally friendly backup battery power built directly into portable devices, such as handheld radios and wireless sensors.

The company is one of the first to market a solid-state energy system that enables designers to embed the chip directly into portable devices, said Bill Priesmeyer, the company's CEO. He explained that because the chip is a solid-state device, it has no moving mechanical parts and can be integrated as a board-level component.

“The aspect of being a component-class device is that our chip looks like any other component that goes into a system,” he said. “So what we are doing is selling our component to those who develop electronics for security, utilities, energy, homeland security and environmental controls industries so it can be placed into the device — similar to a coin-slot battery.”

When the chip is embedded into wireless sensors, it acts as a semiconductor for natural energy harvesting via light, heat or vibration sources, Priesmeyer said. As a result, sensors or a network of sensors can operate without requiring traditional battery power.

In addition, the product is designed to eliminate battery replacement and last the life of the device it powers. It is rechargeable so it doesn't wear out, Priesmeyer said. It also is better for the environment compared to a traditional battery system because there are no plastic materials, which often are used in a commercial battery system. And because it also is a lead- and chemical-free energy source, portable wireless devices would be non-volatile.

The device recharges to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes and is available in 12-, 50- and 85-microampere hour models, Priesmeyer said.

Power System vendors

AdvanceTec Industries ▪ Advanced Charger Technology ▪ American Digital Accessories Group ▪ Astron Corp. ▪ Cadex Electronics ▪ Chargeguard ▪ CommScope ▪ Cut-Rate Batteries ▪ DuraComm ▪ DX Radio Systems ▪ Earmark ▪ EFJohnson ▪ Fort Worth Tower ▪ Honeywell/Global Technology Systems ▪ Idatech ▪ Klein Electronics ▪ Kyocera Solar ▪ Merry Electronics USA ▪ Motorola ▪ Multiplier Industries ▪ North American Battery Co. ▪ Northern Technologies ▪ Phihong USA ▪ Priam Technologies ▪ RF Industries ▪ Samlex America ▪ Thales Communications ▪ TPL Communications ▪ Transtector Systems ▪ Tripp Lite ▪ Trylon Manufacturing Co. ▪ Valesco Battery Support Systems ▪ VFP Inc. ▪ For complete listings of location and tracking-system vendors, visit the MRT 2008 Resource Guide at www.mrtmag.com.

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