CAP-XX announced it has developed the industry’s first 3V thin, prismatic supercapacitors. The company will deploy its 3V technology first in thin prismatic form to meet demand for small, inexpensive, energy-efficient power solutions for thin wearables, key FOBs and other IoT devices. CAP-XX will then integrate the 3V technology into its larger prismatic supercapacitors, automotive modules and other products for high-energy, high-power applications.
The new 3V supercapacitors eliminate the cost and inefficiencies of the low-dropout (LDO) voltage regulator or buck converter often required to step the voltage down to work with the industry’s existing 2.7V-rated thin, prismatic supercapacitors. CAP-XX is initially targeting markets using 3V coin cell batteries, where popular batteries such as the CR2032 have reasonable energy (~220mAh) but have trouble delivering the peak power (~100mA) needed for data collection and transmission. CAP-XX can handle those power bursts, and its new 3V supercapacitors can be placed directly across the battery without the intermediary LDO.
3V supercapacitors enter production trials; samples expected August 2018 with Q2 2019 production:
To achieve the 3V, CAP-XX developed new materials and production techniques. The company has successfully tested prototypes at 3V, 70°C meeting the IEC 62391 requirement for endurance. CAP-XX has started production trials, with samples expected for customers by end of August 2018, and mass production in the first half of 2019. Pricing will start at less than US$1 in large volumes. CAP-XX will become the only manufacturer to provide a 3V supercapacitor in a thin, prismatic form factor.
The 3V versions, ranging from 0.9mm to 1.9mm thick, will come in the same footprints as CAP-XX’s existing 2.7V thin prismatic supercapacitors: Z, 20mm x 15mm; A, 20mm x 18mm; W, 17.5mm x 28.5mm; S, 17.5mm x 39.5mm. Initial samples will be in the S package, with other footprints and the 0.6mm Thinline products to follow.
Specific benefits of the 3V supercapacitors over 2.7V cells that require an LDO:
Cost savings of US$0.27 to $0.31, or 20 to 25%, based on a single supercapacitor price of US$0.95 to $1
Saved battery energy, up to 30% over five years. Assuming constant power, an LDO dropping the battery voltage from 3V to 2.7V will lose 10% of the battery energy. On top of that, assuming the LDO draws 1µA, an additional 8.8mAh (4% of a typical CR2032’s energy) is lost per year. The projected yearly energy savings therefore is: 10% + 4% = 14% after one year, 10% + 8% = 18% over two, 22% over three and 30% over five years.
Increased usable energy storage. For example, if an application operates down to 1.8V, then a 3V supercapacitor stores 42% more usable energy than a 2.7V one.
Improved power density, by 23%.
Low leakage current, approximately 1.5µA for a 500mF cell at 3V. As the battery discharges and voltage reduces, the supercapacitor leakage current also reduces to about 0.7µA at 2.5V.
Engineers might also consider a buck converter or a buck-boost design if the current required is only marginally more, say +20%-30%, than the coin cell can provide. CAP-XX projects that its 3V supercapacitor solution will be up to 50% cheaper than such a design. CAP-XX also projects such a design will still incur significant energy losses, it won’t see the benefits of the higher currents from a 3V supercapacitor, and it will require more components.
For more information about CAP-XX, visit http://www.cap-xx.com