The New Thinline Series Supercapacitors
The CAP-XX GW134T Thinline supercapacitor packs high energy and ultra-high power. An electronic micrometer measures the CAP-XX GW134T Thinline supercapacitor at just under 0.6mm thick.
A CAP-XX GW134T Thinline supercapacitor pictured with an SD card, a US dime and a credit card. Thinline supercapacitors are available in packages from just 0.6mm thick, fitting easily into space-constrained IoT devices.
G Series: General Purpose Supercapacitors
H Series: High Voltage & High Temperature Supercapacitors
CAP-XX Supercapacitors: Side Views
CAP-XX Thinline, Standard Line and a Dual Cell Module in side view.
CAP-XX Product Comparison Photos
CAP-XX supercapacitors benefit from a unique nanotechnology construction that stores electrical charge in engineered carbon electrodes, arranged in multiple layers and connected in parallel to minimize resistance and maximize capacitance. This packs the highest energy and power densities possible into thin, prismatic packages.
BritePower™ Solutions with Supercapacitors
Powercast RF Energy Harvesting Module
This wireless power module combines Powercast’s RF energy-harvesting technology with a CAP-XX supercapacitor to create a perpetual, battery-free power source for the wireless sensors commonly used in security, environmental and condition-monitoring systems. The module integrates a power receiving antenna, a Powercast Powerharvester to convert the radio waves into low DC power and a CAP-XX supercapacitor. The supercapacitor stores the harvested energy and provides peak transmission power to a wireless sensor/transmitter board such as the Texas Instruments eZ430-RF2500T. The complete module measures 8″ tall x 1″ wide x ¼” thick.
Contact Powercast at www.powercastco.com for more information.
Perpetuum Vibration Energy Harvesting Module
Perpetuum’s PMG17 vibration energy-harvesting micro-generator, together with a CAP-XX supercapacitor, allow wireless sensor system manufacturers to design battery-free condition monitoring systems that collect and report data on machinery for improved asset management. The PMG17 microgenerator converts unused mechanical vibration into a low but steady source of electrical energy. The supercapacitor then stores the energy and delivers the peak power needed to transmit sensor condition data over wireless networks such as IEEE 802.15.4 (Zigbee) and 802.11 (WLAN). Together they can power wireless sensor nodes indefinitely. Contact Perpetuum at www.perpetuum.co.uk for more information.
BriteFlash™ High Power LED Flash vs Xenon Flash
Overview: This provides visuals from a 2009 study updating the company’s 2006 study. Tests again showed that the LED BriteFlash approach delivers more light energy than most xenon flashes in a thin form factor suitable for slim camera phones and digital cameras. For more details and conclusions, see the press release:
The two photographs of the girl were taken in low light from 2 meters distance to compare a small xenon flash in a current camera phone and the supercapacitor-powered LED BriteFlash™ solution:
Left: LG KU990 5-megapixel phone with a xenon flash unit delivers flash power so low that the girl is barely visible as a silhouette.
Right: Nokia N73 modified with CAP-XX BriteFlash solution – supercapacitor powers 3 LEDs at 1A each for a total flash power of 12W.
The two photographs of the colour scene with metronome were taken in a dark room from 2 meters distance to compare a standard battery-powered LED flash in a current camera phone and BriteFlash:
Left: Nokia N96 with 2 LEDs but no supercapacitor support. Note the poor colour reproduction from the colour chart. There is also a metronome ticking at 1Hz to show blur due to exposure time 1/10s.
Right: Nokia N73 modified with CAP-XX BriteFlash solution – supercapacitor powers 3 LEDs at 1A each for a total flash power of 12W. The colour chart shows much better colour rendition and the metronome arm shows less blur from a faster exposure of 1/15s.
Light Power and Light Energy Measurements: The key to clear pictures is Light Energy – the total amount of light that fills a camera’s pixels during image-capture time. On the other hand, Light Power refers to the intensity of a flash. To calculate Light Energy: Light Power (Lux) x Flash Exposure Time (Secs) = Light Energy (Lux.Secs).
The Xenon flash has excellent light power, but a very short flash exposure time.
An LED flash, powered by a supercapacitor, delivers lower light power over a longer flash exposure time for total Light Energy that exceeds most Xenon flashes.
Comparison of Light Energy between Xenon, BriteFlash and Low-Power LED Flash
LG KU990 (Viewty)
|BriteFlash2x LEDs @ 2A each||0.55F||1||425||17||6.0|
|Medium power LED Flash1x LED @ 1A||0.55F||1||135||67||8.9|
|Low power LED flash2x LEDs, Nokia N96||NA||1||30||67||2.15|
|Low power LED Flash1x LED, Nokia N73||NA||1||20||90||1.71|
LG KU990 (Viewty)
|BriteFlash2x LEDs @ 2A each||0.55F||2||130||17||1.9|
|Low power LED flash2x LEDs, Nokia N96||NA||2||8.2||67||0.55|
|Low power LED Flash1x LED, Nokia N73||NA||2||5.0||90||0.43|
Flash Solutions Tested:
Xenon: SonyEricsson K800, LG KU990, Nokia N82 and Samsung G800 all with 5-megapixel cameras but with varying size electrolytic storage capacitors.
Standard battery-powered LEDs: Nokia N73 (3.2-megapixel) and N96 (5-megapixel).
Supercapacitor-powered LEDs: To demonstrate the BriteFlash approach, CAP-XX used a small, thin (20mm x 18mm x 3.8mm thick), dual-cell supercapacitor to drive a two-LED array of Philips LUXEON® PWM4s at 2A each or 4A total during the flash pulse.
The key advantage of LED Flash over Xenon in camera phones is size.
The image below compares an electrolytic capacitor used in camera phone xenon flash units, with a CAP-XX supercapacitor used for high power LED Flash. The SonyEricsson K800 uses two of these electrolytic capacitors, while the Nokia N82 uses one of the same size.
The bulky electrolytic capacitor precludes a thin form factor for a Xenon flash solution with adequate light energy.
The SonyEricsson K800 uses two electrolytic capacitors, each measuring 7mm x 18mm. The CAP-XX BriteFlash LED Flash solution also uses two supercapacitor cells, but at just 1.1mm thick, the solution is very thin.. The internal shot shows two electrolytics fitted inside and the other shows the electrolytic and supercapacitor in profile next to the phone.
Design Solutions for Camera-Phone Flash
LED flash (BriteFlash)
– Large electrolytic storage capacitor- Total volume of xenon solution in SonyEricsson K800 ~3.8cc and 7mm thick
|Small and thin:
– Prismatic supercapacitor
– Typically < 2cc and 2 – 4mm thick 1
|Fragile (Drop test):
– Xenon tube- Electrolytic connection to flex PCB prone to fracture due to large mass of capacitors
and flimsiness of PCB
|Rugged (no difficulties with drop test):- No large mass
– No fragile parts
1.5J of energy stored at 330V can
give a nasty shock, particularly near the ear
Low voltage, no safety issues
|High Voltage (HV) trigger circuit needed for xenon
flash tube, > 4000V. Special measures and/or clearance is required to prevent arcing to other
|No HV, no special steps to prevent arcing to other
|Mechanical shutter required to prevent
overexposure: extra cost, size & power
|Works with a rolling shutter. No mechanical shutter
|High voltage and current pulse for xenon strobe
causes Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI)
|High current delivered from supercap,
EMI easier to manage
|Still need a separate LED for video/torch mode||Same LEDs used for flash and video/torch|
|Long time to re-charge electrolytic capacitor between
photos (~8s for SonyEricsson K800)
|Short time to re-charge supercapacitor
between photos (~2s)
|Electrolytic capacitor cannot be used for any other
|Supercapacitor can be used to meet all peak power needs
in the cell phone including:
– Flash pulse
– GPS readings
RF Transmission for GPRS
|Very high-powered light delivered in >
– No photo blur
– Can take an action shots in low light
|Light energy delivered over longer time:
Capable of high-quality still shots, but cannot take action shot in low light
Image stabilization software can correct for hand movement
1) Thickness will depend on implementation: two single-cell supercapacitors side by side (double the footprint and half the thickness), or a dual-cell supercapacitor with the two cells stacked on top of each other (half the footprint and double the thickness)
BriteFlash™ Power Architecture for High-Power LED Flash
Supercapacitor-Optimized LED Flash Drivers
To achieve high LED power, designers can add a thin supercapacitor to deliver peak flash-power, using the battery to cover average power needs and recharge the supercapacitor between flashes. Integrating the circuitry outlined in blue (boost converter, supercapacitor balancing, I2C interface and LED current control), new supercapacitor-optimized LED flash drivers from major IC companies such as AnalogicTech and ON Semiconductor are now available to save time, board space and component cost. A white paper explains
Supercapacitor-optimized LED Flash Drivers Integrate Circuitry Outlined in Blue
Supercapacitor-enabled LED Flash Modules
This supercapacitor-powered LED flash module reference design (pictured below), developed by Seoul Semiconductor, uses a thin, prismatic HA230 CAP-XX supercapacitor and an AnalogicTech AAT1282 LED flash driver (on reverse side) to drive high-current Seoul Semiconductor LEDs. To discuss this module with Seoul Semiconductor, contact Jesper Bennike, Technical Sales and Solution Manager
Mobile: +45 22951550
Office: +45 38887550
The supercapacitor-powered LED flash module reference design (pictured below right), developed by ON Semiconductor, uses a thin CAP-XX HA230 supercapacitor (on the underside) and the ON Semiconductor NCP5680 flash driver to drive high-current Lumileds LEDs. Also pictured (left) for comparison is the Nokia N82 xenon flash solution with its large, cylindrical electrolytic capacitor.
BriteFlash™ in Action
To demonstrate the increased flash power and ease of design-in, CAP-XX engineers retrofitted several industry-leading camera phones with the BriteFlash™ solution. In this phone, CAP-XX added a ~1.2mm thick dual-cell supercapacitor [highlighted in red], replaced existing LEDs with 4 high-powered LEDs that can each handle a peak pulse current of 1A, then put the phone together again with no change in external appearance. The original phone delivered 1 watt of flash power for 160 milliseconds while the CAP-XX-modified phone delivered 15 watts for the same amount of time.
CAP-XX placed two supercapacitor cells and four replacement LEDs in a leading-brand camera phone to demonstrate its flash power. The photos below were taken using the unmodified phone on the left and the CAP-XX-modified phone on the right. The unmodified phone delivered 1W of flash power for 160ms while the modified phone delivered 15W of flash power for 160ms.
The graph below shows the Battery Current, LED Current, and Supercapacitor Voltage during a flash pulse and supercapacitor recharge after the pulse. Note that the Battery Current never exceeds 300mA even though the flash pulse is 4A. The supercapacitor provides the 3.7A difference.
BriteSound™ Power Architecture for Music Phones
Pump up the volume! Supercapacitors enhance audio quality and power in mobile phones.
As multimedia and music phones grow in popularity, consumers want an iPod-quality audio experience without the buzzing and distortion associated with wireless transmissions. In the BriteSound™ power architecture, CAP-XX supercapacitors double audio power for richer-sounding music and handle peak power demands to eliminate distortion during wireless transmissions.
Audio Quality Problems in Music Phones
Typically, a standard 3.6-volt battery powers two class D amplifiers to drive a pair of 8-ohm speakers.
For the problems with this typical set-up, see white paper.
Managing Mobile Phone Audio Power with a Supercapacitor
In the BriteSound™ power architecture, a 2.4mm-thin, 0.55-farad, 85-milliohm dual-cell CAP-XX HS206 supercapacitor delivers 5W power-bursts to drive peak-power functions such as audio and LED Flash.
A battery covers the phone’s average audio power needs of 0.5 to 1W, recharging the supercapacitor between bursts. This leaves enough battery power to handle data transfers and network polls without compromising audio power, eliminating both the distortion and “clicks” normally heard.
The supercapacitor powers the audio amplifier at 5 volts, compared to 3.6 volts directly from a battery, thereby doubling peak audio power for full-sounding music with a strong bass beat.
The supercapacitor also reduces noise by supplying peak power with less voltage droop than the battery would, and eliminates any 217Hz buzz when a GSM/GPRS/EDGE phone transmits by protecting the audio amplifier from other peak loads the battery supplies such as the RF Power Amplifier.
Because the supercapacitor supplies high-peak currents, designers can use higher-quality 4-ohm instead of standard 8-ohm speakers, further doubling peak audio power.
Tests Comparing Mobile-Phone Audio Quality and Power
CAP-XX used three cases for comparing audio quality and power, testing typical mobile-phone audio circuits both with and without a supercapacitor. To test the difference in power that 4-ohm versus 8-ohm speakers would make, CAP-XX simulated the effect by attaching a second set of identical 8-ohm speakers in the supercapacitor-powered set-ups.
To test a bass beat and a network poll, CAP-XX built 2 test circuits each with two class D audio amplifiers, one powered by a battery to drive a pair of 8-ohm speakers, the other supported by a supercapacitor to drive two pairs of 8-ohm speakers.
CAP-XX used a 100Hz bass beat lasting 120 milliseconds repeated every 0.5 seconds to test speaker power and battery current. The supercapacitor tripled peak audio power from 1.65W to 5.2W for fuller-sounding music. Test results are shown below in Table 1 and Figures 3 and 4. For more technical details, see white paper.
CAP-XX simulated a GSM/GPRS/EDGE network poll while listening to music by applying a two-amp, 1.15-millisecond power pulse while the audio amplifier was playing a 1KHz tone. The supercapacitor protected the audio amplifier from the battery voltage droop, eliminating distortion during wireless transmission. Test results are shown below in Figures 5 and 6. For more technical details,
see white paper.
Listening to a Piece of Music
CAP-XX used a set of SonyEricsson MPS60 external speakers and audio amplifier as a test bed. Engineers modified one set with a supercapacitor charged to 5V to power the audio amplifier, then connected a second pair of 8-ohm speakers to the original pair. Figures 7 and 8 below show the modifications.
The company played a piece of music to compare the unmodified MPS60 to the supercapacitor-powered one. The supercapacitor-modified setup more than doubled peak audio power from 2.24W to 4.96W, so music sounded fuller and richer. Test results are shown below in Figures 9 and 10 and Table 2. For more technical details, see white paper.
Figures 9 & 10 compare battery current and speaker power between the standard set of speakers and our modified set for a piece of music.