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Zero Standby Solutions with Optical Energy Harvesting from a Laser Pointer

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Despite recent efforts to reduce standby power consumption in plug loads, new trends in the miniaturization and wide distribution of electronics necessitates devices with zero standby consumption. This work introduces two zero standby solutions that wake a device using an external input of energy harvested from a 5 mW laser pointer. These solutions are applicable to electronics that are remotely activated or have a fiber optic connection. The first utilizes a cascoded header switch to allow for simultaneous low-voltage harvesting and high-voltage blocking. The second involves the use of a charge pump to boost the harvested voltage to a level appropriate for the gate of a high-voltage switch. Prototypes for each method are developed in order to demonstrate functionality and identify the associated benefits and drawbacks. The results show that combining the two methods allows for optimal activation range (up to 25 m) and component count.

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