Anand successfully defends PhD thesis

Congratulations to Anand Savanth, who has successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Techniques And Circuits For Ultra-Efficient Energy Harvesting Sensor Nodes”.

Anand’s research focussed on enabling efficient energy harvesting to enable the vision of a trillion sensor node Internet-of-Things (IoT). During his studies, his designs were taped-out through the Pipistrelle chip family, with circuits able to interface with cm2-scale photovoltaic cells and thermoelectric generators to power a sensor node and recharge its small battery.

His paper, “Integrated reciprocal conversion with selective direct operation for energy harvesting systems”, demonstrated a method for increasing the efficiency of these systems through opportunistically powering them directly from the harvester where conditions allow. This avoids the inefficiencies of power conversion circuitry, and allows >30% additional compute cycles under realistic indoor lighting. Measured results showed 84% peak conversion efficiency and energy neutral execution of benchmark sensor software (ULPBench) with a cold-start capability.

Anand was supervised by Dr Alex Weddell and Prof Bashir Al-Hashimi. Alex commented:

“Anand has been a remarkably technically-able student,” commented Alex. “The three patents applied for during his PhD, along with five publications (including two IEEE Transactions papers), indicate the quality of his work. Anand has made a real contribution towards future energy harvesting-powered IoT devices.”

Anand continues working at Arm Research, and is now leading a project focusing on transient computing.

Related Technologies