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New chip captures power from multiple sources: light, heat and vibrations

Researchers at MIT have taken a significant step toward battery-free monitoring systems — which could ultimately be used in biomedical devices, environmental sensors in remote locations and gauges in hard-to-reach spots, among other applications.

Previous work from the lab of MIT professor Anantha Chandrakasan has focused on the development of computer and wireless-communication chips that can operate at extremely low  levels, and on a variety of devices that can harness power from natural light, heat and vibrations in the environment. The latest development, carried out with doctoral student Saurav Bandyopadhyay, is a chip that could harness all three of these ambient power sources at once, optimizing power delivery.