Once again underlining the heightening interest in the company’s power management ICs (PMICs) for energy harvesting applications, plus its ability to work with the world’s leading brands, e-peas announces completion of a major project for Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches Cartier®.
Cartier’s new addition to its timelessly stylish Tank watch collection is enabling long-term energy autonomy, so wearers do not have to concern themselves with battery replacement and disposal. On average, these watches will run for a period of 16 years – using solar power to keep continuously replenishing their battery reserves. Light that is incident on certain areas of the watch dial surface 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 utilized for driving the watch mechanism.
Having looked at PMICs from numerous suppliers, Cartier, part of Richemont, soon recognized that e-peas’ technology and expertise in low power energy harvesting applications surpassed its rivals. Among the key performance parameters where the company’s PMICs differentiated themselves was the ability to start and efficiently harvest energy at low light levels – so that poor indoor light would be sufficient to power the watch. Proper management of the tiny sensitive battery was also paramount to maximize its lifetime. The standby current of the PMIC needed to be minimal too, so that little power was drawn from the battery when the watch is not being worn and is 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 only uses a few tiny external components enabling the total solution to fit into the very constrained 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 introducing an original version of the Tank Watch with a photovoltaic movement, which is utterly pioneering. It took us 4 years to develop this innovative movement with the help of Richemont Innovation and Manufacture Horlogère de Val Fleurier. Adding advanced energy harvesting capabilities to our Tank watch collection allows us to provide our clients with a watch whose design and quality meet Cartier’s standards, while further reducing the Maison’s environmental footprint over its entire life cycle.”
“The number of design wins that we have gained for our energy harvesting PMICs continues to grow, and with this latest project we are now taking things to a whole new level,” states Geoffroy Gosset, e-peas’ CEO. “Our work with Cartier shows that we have both the technology, innovation and quality to provide industry-leading energy harvesting solutions to the best-known global brands, so that they can gain a real competitive edge.”