Universal Electronics' UE961, UE962 Offer "Extreme" Low-Power Operation, Energy Harvesting Options

Offering a claimed 2.5x performance boost over its last-generation parts, Universal Electronics' new SoCs take aim at low-power IoT.

Universal Electronics has unveiled a system-on-chip designed for "extreme" low-power operation — offering, the company claims, up to 80 percent reduced power consumption and boasting an on-board energy harvesting system.

"We are proud of the success with our previous generation of wireless SoCs now powering over 180 million connected products, enabling advanced universal control and connectivity on a range of products," says Universal Electronics' Arsham Hatambeiki.

"We are excited to bring sustainability and increased performance by expanding our portfolio, that can further elevate the potential of our customers’ products. We are focused on the energy as the currency for connected devices in the home, effectively eliminating the need to replace batteries in future products and creating a frictionless and enhanced user experience for consumers."

The company's latest-generation chips — the UE961 and UE962, with more to follow — are claimed to balance the best of both worlds: Compared to its current-generation parts, the chips deliver a claimed 2.5x increase in processing performance while also drawing up to 80 percent less power — aided by an on-board power management system and adaptive scaling of supply voltage.

The two chips share the same specifications, including support for Bluetooth 5.2 Low Energy (BLE) connectivity and Arm TrustZone security with secure boot functionality. The UE962, however, adds energy harvesting capabilities capable of pulling power from both natural and artificial light sources, radio sources, and "other energy sources" to provide unlimited runtime — or, in the company's parlance, "battery 4 life."

Universal Electronics has also confirmed plans to release a third device, which adds IEEE 802.15.4 networking to the family's existing BLE connectivity — though has not yet announced a launch date for the part.

Full specifications of the new parts have not yet been published to the company's website, but interested parties can get in touch to learn more.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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