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Cap-XX Launches 0.6mm Thinline Supercapacitors for Wearables

May 20, 2015  - By
Cap-XX Thinline Supercapacitor shown with an SD card.

Cap-XX Thinline Supercapacitor shown with an SD card.

Cap-XX, developer of flat supercapacitors for burst and back-up power in space-constrained electronic devices, has launched its Thinline series of single-cell supercapacitors. The thin (0.6-mm) supercapacitors were developed to address the size, weight and cost challenges of designing thin, sometimes disposable electronic devices for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Examples include wearables (medical, fitness and health monitors, smartwatches, drug delivery systems), portables (active credit cards, smartphones, RFID tags), and connected electronics (smart homes and smart buildings, electronic shelf labels, wireless sensor networks).

To reduce thickness and manufacturing costs, CAP-XX increased the power and energy density in its electrode materials to deliver equivalent performance in about half the volume, and eliminated the folded edges and copper terminals that contribute to thickness in its standard line supercapacitors. (For comparison, CAP-XX’s thinnest traditional single-cell supercapacitor is 1.10 mm.)

Cap-XX Thinline supercapacitors support power requirements in IoT devices including GPS acquisition, wireless communication (Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Ant, active RFID), electronic paper and OLED displays, haptic or tactile feedback, vibration alerts, and injection or inhalation system delivery.

Cap-XX supercapacitors benefit from a nanotechnology construction that stores electrical charge in engineered carbon electrodes on aluminium foil, to minimize resistance and maximize capacitance. The electrode construction packs the highest energy and power densities possible into thin, prismatic packages, the company said.

Supercapacitors can handle peak power events, supporting batteries and energy harvesters configured to provide low-power current at maximum efficiency. This architecture allows designers to use smaller, cheaper, low-power batteries and extend their run-time and cycle life, or use intermittent ambient energy sources such as solar photovoltaic. Supercapacitors also enable ultra-quick device charging and wireless power transfer, and provide the backup needed for graceful shutdown and “last gasp” transmissions in mission-critical applications.

The Thinline idea was born while working with a customer designing a disposable insulin pump. “We figured out how to eliminate materials and change some processes to reduce costs and thickness,” explained Anthony Kongats, Cap-XX CEO.

Thinline works with thin-film, solid-state, and other low-power batteries such as coin cells/button cells, energy harvesting modules (solar, vibration/kinetic, RF, and other ambient energy sources), as well as inductive/wireless and cable/cradle fast-charging systems.

Features of Thinline include:

  • Extremely thin, flexible packaging from 0.6mm (600µm) thick
  • Best-in-class power density and power output (up to 117kW / litre)
  • Ultra-low resistance, even at low temperatures (ESR from 16mΩ, 2x nominal at -40°C)
  • Excellent energy storage to support ambient/intermittent sources (up to 0.8Wh / litre)
  • High cell voltages to facilitate integration with primary batteries (up to 2.75V continuous)
  • Wide operating temperature range (from -40°C to +85°C)
  • Very low leakage current to maximize battery life and minimize losses (typically < 1µA)
  • Virtually unlimited charge-discharge cycle life

Cap-XX Thinline supercapacitors are available in three footprints:

  • “A” series: 19.5mm x 20.0mm x 0.6 – 0.9mm thick, 60 – 180 mF, 45 – 200 mΩ
  • “W” series: 28.0mm x 20.2mm x 0.6 – 0.9mm thick, 100 – 300 mF, 24 – 120 mΩ
  • “S” series: 39.0mm x 20.2mm x 0.6 – 0.9mm thick, 180 – 540 mF, 16 – 75 mΩ

Suggested retail price for all 0.6-mm cells is less than US$1 in large volumes. The 0.7 mm and 0.9 mm cells in each series have higher C/lower ESR and cost slightly more. All parts are available in a 2.3V / 70°C, or 2.75V / 85°C configuration. They can be assembled by soldering or welding (ultrasonic, laser or spot).