Chip increases efficiency of low power electronics, extends battery life

May 02, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
A team for reasearchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have developed a chip that can make lower power electronics, like cell phones, work more efficiently – an invention that enables the use of smaller batteries and/or longer battery life.

In order to commercialize this new chip, Ruyan Guo, a Robert E. Clark Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UTSA, has received a $50,000 I-Corps grant from the National Science Foundation.

Guo's team developed the technology, which is about the size of a pin's head, with UTSA researcher Shuza Binzaid in the UTSA Multifunctional Electronic Materials and Devices Research Laboratory alongside graduate student Avadhood Herlekar.

"The purpose of this grant is better identify the commercial opportunities for technology created at universities," Guo said.

Guo and Binzaid are currently working with marketplace experts, as well as UTSA technology and IP management specialist Neal A. Guentzel, to understand the needs of consumers so they can determine which industry their chip is best suited for. It's an odd problem to have, since the device is applicable to several different uses, from every day electronics to medical apparatuses.

"This chip can be used with anything that runs on a battery," said Binzaid. "It manages power so that the device can last longer."

Cell phone users in desperate need of a charge, for example, put their devices on low power mode and reduce its regular functions to extend the battery life of their phones. The chip can keep a phone working at top functionality with much less power. Moreover, it facilitates the use of smaller batteries, since the object itself is so small.