Author Topic: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!  (Read 32136 times)

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Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2017, 09:28:19 pm »
Standby power on modern devices is extremely low, some are less than 1 Watt. There are diminishing returns on efforts to reduce it further.

Don't forget Dave's point though, that 1W often represents 3-5VA in generation and distribution capacity. So, that's another 1.5MVA to 2.5MVA of generation capacity for each appliance on standby per household for a population the size of London (500,000 households). That's enough for another 1000+ households in total.

That is true of course, it all adds up. Still, the standby power has been reduced dramatically over the past decade or so and there are diminishing returns to further reduction. In most households I'd expect there are other areas from which we could squeeze out a lot more savings per unit of effort spent. I'm always shocked at how many people I see still using incandescent lightbulbs to light their homes. I haven't had one of those in general illumination service in more than 15 years and as of a few years ago I've phased out all of my CFLs and replaced them with still more efficient LED bulbs. I can turn on every light in my whole house all at once and it uses about as much power as one small room lit by traditional incandescents.
 

Offline RGB255_0_0

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2017, 09:39:16 pm »
Standby power on modern devices is extremely low, some are less than 1 Watt. There are diminishing returns on efforts to reduce it further.

Don't forget Dave's point though, that 1W often represents 3-5VA in generation and distribution capacity. So, that's another 1.5MVA to 2.5MVA of generation capacity for each appliance on standby per household for a population the size of London (500,000 households). That's enough for another 1000+ households in total.

That is true of course, it all adds up. Still, the standby power has been reduced dramatically over the past decade or so and there are diminishing returns to further reduction. In most households I'd expect there are other areas from which we could squeeze out a lot more savings per unit of effort spent. I'm always shocked at how many people I see still using incandescent lightbulbs to light their homes. I haven't had one of those in general illumination service in more than 15 years and as of a few years ago I've phased out all of my CFLs and replaced them with still more efficient LED bulbs. I can turn on every light in my whole house all at once and it uses about as much power as one small room lit by traditional incandescents.
Yes it does, as well as safety. It's all well and good putting a device on the mains side of a PSU as long as it can be safely done - bringing an IR receiver from the live to the "safe", front part of the TV may well violate several laws.
Your toaster just set fire to an African child over TCP.
 

Offline trophosphere

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #52 on: February 11, 2017, 10:05:26 pm »
That's actually not a zero standby power device, even if the circuitry draws no power. The dissipation of 6ft of typical power cord at Dave's 240V is around half a milliwatt (measured it long ago here in the US (120V) and have used ~20uW/ft as a guess ever since). There's little benefit in setting the standby power bar lower than that for a mains powered design.

I disagree. The circuit is not completed (i.e. no current flows) when the switch is off so there can NOT be any dissipation. If there is current flow then it is no longer in "stand-by" and no one cares anymore. :palm:
 

Offline james_s

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2017, 10:10:34 pm »
That's actually not a zero standby power device, even if the circuitry draws no power. The dissipation of 6ft of typical power cord at Dave's 240V is around half a milliwatt (measured it long ago here in the US (120V) and have used ~20uW/ft as a guess ever since). There's little benefit in setting the standby power bar lower than that for a mains powered design.

I disagree. The circuit is not completed (i.e. no current flows) when the switch is off so there can NOT be any dissipation. If there is current flow then it is no longer in "stand-by" and no one cares anymore. :palm:

There is current flow due to capacitive coupling between the wires. It's apparent power so it's not going to be recorded by your meter but it does increase dissipation in the wires.
 

Offline trophosphere

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #54 on: February 11, 2017, 10:20:44 pm »
There is current flow due to capacitive coupling between the wires. It's apparent power so it's not going to be recorded by your meter but it does increase dissipation in the wires.

And how significant is that? If you are going to be that pendantic then you are forgetting to account about the capacitive coupling between the large lengths of wire between this and the power station. I bet the amount of power being lost in that far exceeds the amount you lose in just a 6 foot long cord. If you are so strict on the definition of zero power then practically nothing is zero power as there is leakage current on the order of femto-amps between conductors on a PCB (that is still thousands of electrons).
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #55 on: February 11, 2017, 10:49:27 pm »
The problem is it still has a TV in it, so you're is still using an application for which this is just not an issue, just like any mains powered device. It just doesn't matter if it draws a picowatt or a milliwatt. The PSU is always going to be using much more.
If you really want to make a claim of  near-zero power TV, look at integrating your device  into the switchmode PSU primary side.

The device only makes any sense on devices with extremely low available power -tiny batteries or harvested power.  And even then it's only going to be useful in a small percentage of those devices that can't do just as well using low duty cycles or standard discrete devices.
Even with the smallest battery, battery shelf-life is likely to be more of a limitation, so again, it doesn't matter if it's picowatts or nanowatts.

Agreed.
The IR receiver example is a poor one, especially the TV example, as there are plenty of existing ways to do the exact same thing at the uA level, e.g.:
https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/1101
Or simply roll your own custom job with a few jelly bean parts, you don't need the UB20M

They need to find a kick-arse niche example and show how the chip enables functionality you can't easily get elsewhere or with existing solutions.
It's a relatively novel chip and it's needs a novel example solution.
With the countless examples they touted in the video I'm sure they can come up with something better. The TV was just low hanging fruit, and fruit you can't eat.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 10:52:41 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Offline ScottK

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #56 on: February 11, 2017, 11:55:06 pm »
They need to find a kick-arse niche example and show how the chip enables functionality you can't easily get elsewhere or with existing solutions.
It's a relatively novel chip and it's needs a novel example solution.

Agreed. And that may be as difficult to do as the part was to create.

I hate raining on parades, but maybe that's just what happens after four decades in the field. It's so easy to see what won't work, I wonder if I'll miss what will.

That's why we make young people, right?
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2017, 04:19:33 am »
Standby power on modern devices is extremely low, some are less than 1 Watt. There are diminishing returns on efforts to reduce it further.

Don't forget Dave's point though, that 1W often represents 3-5VA in generation and distribution capacity. So, that's another 1.5MVA to 2.5MVA of generation capacity for each appliance on standby per household for a population the size of London (500,000 households). That's enough for another 1000+ households in total.

That 3-5VA will be power factor corrected by the local distribution transformer automatically, as the line capacitance and inductance will filter it out quite well. This low load will be swamped by the no load power loss of the power distribution services, lost in core loss, copper loss and in the cooling system losses along with the SCADA systems used to control power flow. In terms of power system loss, this is well in the noise of the whole system, and can only be reduced by wholesale load shedding of blocks of load, and this, done only during times of system overload, is invariably going to be dumping those blocks which are drawing a significant load, not the zero load ones. The meter loss in the house will be a similar value, but you do not see anybody complaining of this, meters do run warm enough not to have condensation on them in any weather.
 

Offline Grapsus

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2017, 11:06:34 am »
@Bristol Energy

It's a good sign on your side to come here and actually have a discussion, thanks for that :)

You might have an interesting chip but the TV demo (deceptive or not) clearly doesn't make a good use of it. I'd even say that any application having access to mains is a bad application since those draw watts in standby just to reduce the cost and they could get milliwatts standby if they wanted to.

Why don't you make an actual impressive demo with an autonomous application. For a example a device that wakes up when it senses a flame (lots of IR) and sends an alarm. Or a wireless device that wakes up when the base station sends a special RF signal... Sure with those you couldn't impress the masses, but who cares, it's the engineers who design products.
 

Offline Bristol Energy

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2017, 12:09:10 pm »
Regarding presenting the killer application for this, here is my perspective:

The UB20M is for application in a specific textile energy harvesting technology that we are working on: we are still developing sensor materials that go with this (microstructured ferroelectret foams with up to GOhm output impedances), integrated maximum power tracking on a nW budget, and a variable-ratio switched-capacitor converter. This takes time, perhaps a decade. And so while it is an application for the voltage detector, it's hardly a commercial opportunity, as the product doesn't exist yet. That is the space we work in. We would not get funding to make a product, as that would be seen as a commercial activity.

As part of this we needed to sense voltage levels and detect spikes of incoming power without draining the supercap storage. This is dealt with by a 0.3x0.3mm analogue circuit with 40 different transistors (different W/L ratios, 3 Vds ratings, 2 thresholds), all operating in sub-threshold mode. We thought this might be useful on its own, so in a move that is untypical of UK universities, the University gave us funding to make a batch of 1400 sot-23 devices. Europractice and IMEC worked hard to find suppliers who could dice and package such small quantities on our budget. The 10 devices that we tested (it takes ages) work as expected from post-layout simulation, so now we have a low-power analogue IC that beats the voltage detector competition significantly on 4 parameters (input current, threshold, max input V, output leakage), and is arguably worse on 2 further parameters (temperature range, dVin/dt range).

It takes a lot of courage to put raw, unpolished work out there for debate, but I believe that is the role and duty of Universities, rather than hiding their stuff in fancy and expensive journal publications.

We have spent no time on developing applications and products, in fact we've only had these devices for 2 months! We just wanted to get them out there quickly and feel the love of application engineers  :-DD

We do have 3 or 4 circuits running with devices in the previous research packages (84 pin). Most of these would seem pointless to most people, or at least not encourage them to think about how they could use this device. E.g. we have a boost converter that uses 7 of these devices (e.g. three in a ring with some tuning to create a nW quiescent low-duty gate driver). We have an RF wake-up circuit with a very high sensitivity. The only way of getting the same sensitivity is to ask for a research chip from the world's leading research group on this topic. With our device you can build this on a breadboard. But are there applications for this yet? We don't know. And an application engineer would want the 7 devices put onto one die, so again it's a complicated example.

We want to create the raw material that encourages others to see if they might have a use. We have an online form at bristol.ac.uk to request samples, and this has been populated by some great ideas, which, and we are very open about this, we would not have come up with. I WISH I would tell you about them, some are ingenious, and no doubt some won't work out. But obviously we can't, as these are not our ideas. I can say though that IR has featured in 3 of the applications which I think are great.

I really do understand that you don't like the TV application, because if regulation came in to reduce standby power, there would be other ways of reducing this to minimal values. I want to keep the video up there though because it led to our three requests for an IR related application. I have edited the TV application hype out of the video now, but obviously it still shows the TV. I wish people would see past the TV and just see it as the first demo where a weak IR source triggers a system that in principle only draws sub-100pA leakage. I understand that they don't. Just in the same way that some people don't see past the title and first three sentences of the buster video, and don't see that you actually like our chip.

We'll do better videos, but we'll need some patience as it takes time to create these demos, and it's not our main job.

So, instead we've put the broad areas up there (the "marketing 101"-style video has been edited following your feedback, see https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJBmHmeiMuUr6yraft6uCMv6L5qab3F0f).

So, please feel free to ask questions about the technology, or make suggestions. Or tell us to make better videos. That's fine and helpful. We'll do our best to learn, and do this right.
In return, could you please help us diffuse some of the aggressive commenting being made on YouTube by your followers? Imagine if your kids were getting this sort of abuse by people who can't see past the slagging off of our marketing hype. My guys have one desire, and that is to create something useful. They work overtime, and are on low UK public sector wages, they really deserve a bit of praise for what they've achieved. And they would find it much more gratifying it if came from you guys than me!  :-+
 

Offline Bristol Energy

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2017, 12:10:56 pm »
Why don't you make an actual impressive demo with an autonomous application. For a example a device that wakes up when it senses a flame (lots of IR) and sends an alarm. Or a wireless device that wakes up when the base station sends a special RF signal... Sure with those you couldn't impress the masses, but who cares, it's the engineers who design products.

Good idea, thanks  :-+
 

Offline Delta

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2017, 12:30:56 pm »
It is always disappointing to see engineers being so deliberately deceptive.  Leave that to the marketing wankers.

Shame on you, Bristol Energy, and shame on your University.
 

Offline Twoflower

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2017, 12:38:02 pm »
Please don't use the fire-alram idea. People would complain as there's something like smouldering fire and/or the fire might not be in plain sight of the sensor. In general safety related gear you should carefully check if it works as it should be. Any delay or not going off could be lethal.

The device looks like a nice idea. Still I'm unclear if there's a marked for it. Except very cheap stuff the design should be somewhat power aware. First there's the battery life second at least in Europe there is the requirement to consume less than 0.5W or 1W if in idle. Keeping in mind that you still need some energy to enable the PSU (clearly marked in your datasheet with +1.8V) there's little headroom.

And to be honest there is a alternative solution to the problem you address: https://www.siemens.com/press/en/presspicture/2008/corporate_technology/in20080403-01.htm (they had/have also a zero-watt PC). As you see they measure at the mains. And it was introduces 2008. I haven't checked how they exactly did this. But I assume they use a Accu/SuperCap to to deliver the energy to switch the PSU on during the device is waiting to be switched on. This energy reservoir will be refilled if the monitor/PC is switched on. In general this will reduce the total amount of energy used as the PSU usually operates with much higher efficiency under higher loads. Of course this only works for equipment powered by mains. But as you see it never got mainstream. The main reason is probably it makes the devices more expensive.
 

Offline Tek_TDS220

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2017, 05:09:51 pm »
There are many universities that now have over-active marketing departments.  MIT, for example, makes wildly exaggerated claims about their research that often appear in the popular press.  It's usually related to battery or energy technology that catches public interest.  The scientists involved go along with these claims, even though they know the claims about the impact of their research is mostly BS.
 

Offline Bristol Energy

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #64 on: February 12, 2017, 05:16:33 pm »
What are your thoughts about these potential demos, would you find them useful?
-Using a computer buzzer as a touch sensor.
-Using an accelerometer "unplugged" to trigger turn-on of something, e.g. its own amplifier.
-Triggering some kind of sensor from a distance using an IR beacon.
-A demo of us measuring the datasheet characteristics such as leakage current, threshold etc.

 

Offline Delta

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2017, 05:30:38 pm »
I'd like to see a video of you putting your (not really) zero standby power telly into said (not really) zero power standby mode, using the remote control.

Your Marketing Wank 101™ video shows it being turned on, but not off.....
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 05:32:17 pm by Delta »
 

Offline IanB

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #66 on: February 12, 2017, 06:26:48 pm »
What are your thoughts about these potential demos, would you find them useful?
-Using a computer buzzer as a touch sensor.
-Using an accelerometer "unplugged" to trigger turn-on of something, e.g. its own amplifier.
-Triggering some kind of sensor from a distance using an IR beacon.
-A demo of us measuring the datasheet characteristics such as leakage current, threshold etc.

I think an ideal application would be something small and battery powered, with a very low power budget and an "always on" requirement. Maybe something small enough that it needs to be powered by a coin cell, yet something that needs to record and log events autonomously over a long period of time without human interaction. When an event needs recording it wakes up, records the data and then goes back to sleep.

Anything with larger batteries could manage with a µW standby power drain, and for anything mains powered a mW standby power consumption would be of no consequence.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 
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Offline Bristol Energy

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #67 on: February 12, 2017, 07:02:34 pm »
I'd like to see a video of you putting your (not really) zero standby power telly into said (not really) zero power standby mode, using the remote control.

Your Marketing Wank 101™ video shows it being turned on, but not off.....

This happens right at the start. When the TV is on, the normal standby circuit is running. The TV processor turns the whole system off. The conventional IR receiver requires either a signal from our IR detector, or one from the TV to be on.
 

Offline Twoflower

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #68 on: February 12, 2017, 07:04:55 pm »
What are your thoughts about these potential demos, would you find them useful?
-Using a computer buzzer as a touch sensor.
-Using an accelerometer "unplugged" to trigger turn-on of something, e.g. its own amplifier.
-Triggering some kind of sensor from a distance using an IR beacon.
-A demo of us measuring the datasheet characteristics such as leakage current, threshold etc.
It looks like you're unsure for yourself what your device can do if you start to ask around here. Usually that's something you should do in detail before you spend cash to design/manufacture anything. OK, engineers tend to do this opposite ;)

How about this: You come with ideas, as it's your device and your company and we could think about if it make sense. I think you're bright enough to do the math for all ideas even before you start to build up your ideas to check if it's worth or not.

Not sure if that's the right ballpark but as starter I would draw the line useful/waste of money at about a one or two year ROI. Anything that has a battery life of more than 3 years isn't worth to look at (except the saving comes for free). For mains driven stuff: What is the potential power saving. Do two measurements: First check the consumption of the power brick alone (not connected to the TV. Second repeat with the TV connected and switched off. That's the potential energy you can save. Is this saving within the targeted ROI time frame or not?

I could be wrong with that but that would be my first step to a) think about before develop anything b) coming up with ideas.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #69 on: February 12, 2017, 08:09:16 pm »
It looks like you're unsure for yourself what your device can do if you start to ask around here. Usually that's something you should do in detail before you spend cash to design/manufacture anything. OK, engineers tend to do this opposite ;)

I think this is to fundamentally misunderstand the idea of universities. Universities are not engaged in business and commerce, they are engaged in teaching and research. To insist that research has to have a commercial application to be justified is stifle the exploration and creativity that is essential to discovery.

I think Dave's point with the original debunking video was to object to the presentation of an interesting device as if it really might be used in televisions, rather than just saying "here's an illustration of how it works using some everyday objects you can relate to, even though this would not be a real world application for it".
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 
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Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #70 on: February 12, 2017, 08:45:20 pm »
It looks like you're unsure for yourself what your device can do if you start to ask around here. Usually that's something you should do in detail before you spend cash to design/manufacture anything. OK, engineers tend to do this opposite ;)

I think this is to fundamentally misunderstand the idea of universities. Universities are not engaged in business and commerce, they are engaged in teaching and research. To insist that research has to have a commercial application to be justified is stifle the exploration and creativity that is essential to discovery.

Agreed, nothign wrong with developing a chip like this, even if it has no mainstream commercial use. That should be encouraged.
From what I gather they did do research on what applications it can be used in, but once the chip was done started to look for ways to expand the application scope.
I can understand why they did the TV demo, as it's something everyone can understand and knows about. Even Joe Average knows that TV's and other home appliances draw standby power. The problem is that's a very bad demo to engineers who know about this stuff.

But now they are trying to sell the chip commercially, they are asking for feedback from the engineering community as to what might be a good demo that would impress engineers, and I think that's entirely reasonable to ask.

Quote
I think Dave's point with the original debunking video was to object to the presentation of an interesting device as if it really might be used in televisions, rather than just saying "here's an illustration of how it works using some everyday objects you can relate to, even though this would not be a real world application for it".

Yep, it basically comes down to target audience. Engineers were criticising this video before I came along.
 
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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #71 on: February 12, 2017, 08:47:49 pm »
-A demo of us measuring the datasheet characteristics such as leakage current, threshold etc.

That's always a good kind of video to do. Especially if it involves some explanation of the potential problems in measuring such low currents.
Could be kind of a tutorial video on low current chip characterisation.
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #72 on: February 13, 2017, 12:31:20 am »
.... nothign wrong with developing a chip like this, even if it has no mainstream commercial use. That should be encouraged.
Completely agree.

Even if not immediately identifiable as having any commercial viability in itself, I look at it like research brainstorming - it could spark something brilliant.  This could be some bizarre application that was not immediately apparent, or a stepping stone for someone to develop something else.

Quote
From what I gather they did do research on what applications it can be used in, but once the chip was done started to look for ways to expand the application scope.
I can understand why they did the TV demo, as it's something everyone can understand and knows about. Even Joe Average knows that TV's and other home appliances draw standby power. The problem is that's a very bad demo to engineers who know about this stuff.
Right idea - less than ideal execution.

Quote
But now they are trying to sell the chip commercially, they are asking for feedback from the engineering community as to what might be a good demo that would impress engineers, and I think that's entirely reasonable to ask.
Absolutely.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #73 on: February 13, 2017, 12:41:46 am »
Even if not immediately identifiable as having any commercial viability in itself, I look at it like research brainstorming - it could spark something brilliant.  This could be some bizarre application that was not immediately apparent, or a stepping stone for someone to develop something else.

I would be stunned if there is not some immediate niche application for this chip, because AFAIK there is not an equivalent "harness energy, trigger output" kind of chip?
Those who don't think there is an app probably just haven't thought hard enough or aren't involved in an area that needs it.
There will no doubt be some out there that see it and go "wow, that is just does what I need for my dooflewinkle project".
 
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #971 - Zero Standby Power TV - BUSTED!
« Reply #74 on: February 13, 2017, 12:54:38 am »

I would be stunned if there is not some immediate niche application for this chip, because AFAIK there is not an equivalent "harness energy, trigger output" kind of chip?

There are many, depending on parameters. It's just a case of finding an application that needs performance better than you can do with standard parts.

For anything that has some internal battery supply, a micropower comparator will probably be just fine and draw less than battery self-discharge.
For example
http://www.digikey.co.uk/product-detail/en/texas-instruments/TLV3691IDCKR/296-37910-1-ND/4900957
75nA current draw, 0.9v minimum supply.

If you don't need the threshold voltage as low as 0.6ish a MOSFET will give you near-zero input current.

If you need low threshold, a high-gain bipolar transistor will do that with pretty low input current. (anyone know what the limiting factor is here ? Noise ?)

So that leaves applications that absoutely need both low threshold voltage and low input current, and can't afford the drain of a comparator.
And where you're not worried about a single-source device from a non-mainstream supplier.

Seems a pretty small niche....
 
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