We saw interesting stuff at Mobile World Congress ranging from as small as 1mm square to as big as minivan-sized power backups for cell sites. The small stuff held our interest better, particularly the components from STMicroelectronics.
Unless you’re in the business of putting together electronic systems, it’s unlikely you know ST; if that’s your line of work, you almost certainly do. (See our piece from earlier at MWC about a joint venture with rival ams.) ST is doing some particularly interesting things with low power consumption and flexible electronics, and they were showing it off a bit at Mobile World Congress.
The company has a rechargeable 700microAh battery — Enfilm is the trade name — that’s about a fifth of a millimeter thick and as large as a standard US postage stamp. The current generation is bendable (“comformable” is their preferred usage), and they’re working on a version that’s flexible. The Enfilm is being used in a striking watch cuff from Central Standard Timing to power an inch-high E-Ink display; ST says the charge will last a month.
ST was also showing the EnFilm battery on an EMV (chip) credit card that contained a small E-ink display and keypad. The power that’s used by the card is replaced by the EMV payment terminal; the battery is recharged every time the card gets used, so it never runs out during the two-to-three year time that the card is valid.