E-PEAS creates an ultra-compact custom power management solution

Highlighting once again the growing interest in the company’s power management integrated circuits (PMICs) for power harvesting applications, as well as its ability to work with the world’s leading brands, e-peas announces the completion of a major project for Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Cartier.

Cartier’s new addition to its timelessly stylish Tank watch collection allows for long-term power autonomy, so wearers don’t have to worry about replacing and disposing of batteries. On average, these watches will operate for a period of 16 years – using solar power to continue to constantly replenish their battery reserves. Light incident on certain areas of the surface of the watch dial is absorbed by a high-efficiency photovoltaic element. The e-peas PMIC then transfers the photovoltaic-generated electricity to the battery, which can then be used to drive the watch mechanism.

After reviewing PMICs from numerous vendors, Cartier, part of Richemont, quickly recognized that e-peas’ technology and expertise in low-power energy harvesting applications exceeded those of its competitors. Among the key performance metrics where the company’s PMICs differentiated themselves was the ability to start up and harvest power efficiently at low light levels – so low indoor light would be sufficient to power the watch. Proper management of the tiny, sensitive battery was also paramount to maximizing its lifespan. The PMIC’s standby current also had to be minimal, so that little power was drawn from the battery when the watch was not being worn and stored in a dark place. The ultra-compact PMIC specially developed for the Tank Watch has dimensions of just 2mm x 2mm, making it smaller than any other energy harvesting solution currently available. The architecture uses only a few tiny external components allowing the total solution to fit into the very limited space available in the Tank watch.

As Arnaud Carrez, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Cartier, comments; “For the very first time, we are presenting an original version of the Tank Watch with a photovoltaic movement, which is quite a precursor. It took us 4 years to develop this innovative movement with the help of Richemont Innovation and the Manufacture Horlogère de Val Fleurier. Adding advanced energy harvesting capabilities to our Tank watch collection allows us to provide our customers with a watch whose design and quality meet Cartier’s standards, while further reducing the Maison’s environmental footprint on its entire life cycle.

“The number of design contracts we have won for our energy harvesting PMICs continues to grow, and with this latest project, we are now taking things to a whole new level,” says Geoffroy Gosset, CEO of e- peas. “Our work with Cartier shows that we have both the technology, innovation and quality to provide industry– leading energy harvesting solutions for the world’s best-known brands so they can gain a real competitive advantage.

Alan A. Seibert