Directly interfacing sensors that link sensors to micro-controllers without a signal conditioning circuit or an analogue-to-digital converter on the one side and energy harvesting systems on the other side are two key enabling technologies to create self-powered autonomous low-cost and low-maintenance sensor networks. In this reported work, both technologies are concurrently combined in such a way that the duty cycle of the pulsed power supply provided by the harvesting system itself yields in turn a temperature gradient sensor functionality. Originally conceived to power a low-power satellite beacon in a CubeSat project, it has found application, among other applications, in automatic air conditioning and heating systems aiming smart buildings.
A new design based on the flipped-structure for RF active inductors is presented. The conventional flipped-active inductor (FAI) composed of only two transistors is considered as a starting structure. However, it suffers from low-voltage swing, which increases the nonlinearity. Additionally, it requires high power consumption to achieve adequate inductance and quality factor values. A circuit topology named cascoded FAI (CASFAI) based on the basic FAI is proposed. A common-gate transistor added in the feedback path of the proposed CASFAI results in an increase of the voltage swing and linearity as well as the feedback gain. The performance metrics of such active inductors are benchmarked by analytical models and validated in the ADS using a 0.18 µm CMOS process. The results indicate that the CASFAI can achieve a notably higher quality factor and higher inductance values while consuming less power in comparison to the basic FAI.