Wearable devices for Health Tech applications generally rely on digital electronic sensors to gather data about the wearer. This data than gets processed and reported in ways that ideally will monitor the subject’s health and provide indications of what treatments might be required. These electronic sensors need power, and they need a way to store the information until it can be transferred to another device. One way to get these sensors to remain active longer is to give them more powerful batteries, though this can increase the size and weight of the device.
A company named Adesto Technologies has another approach. They have announced a new memory chip that is far more energy-efficient than other competing technologies. According to the company, this new Moneta chip uses 50 to 100 times less power than other memory chips to read or write the data it stores. It is “non-volatile” memory, which means that it maintains its data even when the power is off, which further increases its efficiency. The chip uses “Conductive Bridging RAM” (CBRAM) technology, and the company has already shipped millions of CBRAM units.
The data capacity is small — 32K to 256K bits — but the energy budget is so low that they can be used in battery-free designs, relying on energy harvesting to power the devices. By eliminating the need to recharge or replace batteries for wearable sensors, we get that much closer to realizing the goal of a network of unobtrusive sensors that can monitor a wide range of biometric measures on the human body.