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Asleep yet Aware: Adaptable Receivers for Battery-less Wireless Sensor Nodes

IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society (SSCS) Oregon State University Chapter

Distinguished Lecturer – Dr. Steven Bowers

Date: Friday, January 22, 2021
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Title: Asleep yet Aware: Adaptable Receivers for Battery-less Wireless Sensor Nodes


As the number of nodes connected to the internet increases from billions to trillions, it will become increasingly infeasible to replace or even charge most of their batteries, necessitating nodes powered from energy harvested from the surrounding environment.  To support the power levels associated with small form factor energy harvesting, the power consumption of the circuits within the nodes will need to be decreased by orders of magnitude.  This talk will focus specifically on how wireless receivers can be designed that can operate with nanowatts of energy, both as always on wakeup receivers that stay active even when all of the other blocks of the circuit are put to sleep or as ultra low power data receivers.  To make these receivers operable both as wakeup receivers as well as data receivers, these receivers are reconfigurable to trade off between sensitivity, power consumption and data rate or latency.  This research has pushed the sensitivity of these nanowatt level receivers beyond WiFi ranges of around -80 dBm and into longer distance ranges beyond -100 dBm sensitivity. 


Steven Bowers received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of California at San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in millimeter-wave circuits and systems from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.

In 2014, he joined the Faculty of the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA, where he is currently an assistant professor. His current research interests include ultralow nanowatt level wireless transceivers, mm-wave electronic and photonic circuits and integrated electromagnetics, and he is the director of the Integrated Electromagnetics, Circuits and Systems Lab.  Dr. Bowers is a member of the HKN and TBP. He was a recipient of the Analog Devices Outstanding Student Designer Award in 2009, the 2012 IEEE RFIC Symposium and 2013 IEEE MTT-S IMS Best Student Paper Awards in 2012, the 2015 IEEE MTT-S Microwave Prize, an NSF CAREER award in 2019, the 2019 Charles L. Brown ECE Faculty Research Award and advisor to the 2020 IMS/RFIC 3 minute thesis 1st place award winner

Friday, January 22 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic

Academic, Research


Faculty and Staff, Student, Online



Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Contact Name

Paul Dania

Contact Email

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