David Su

Innovators in Electronic Design - Trailblazer: David Su, Atmosic Technologies

Dec. 12, 2022
David Su helped to develop Lowest Power Radio and On-demand Wake-Up technologies for Atmosic's systems-on-chips, which offer a 100X reduction in power consumption compared to competitive solutions.

This article is part of the Innovators 2023 issue.

In 2016, David Su co-founded Atmosic Technologies with the commitment to reduce the battery dependency of Internet of Things (IoT) devices through energy harvesting and low-power solutions. Aware that every year more than three billion batteries are thrown out in the U.S. alone, ending up in landfills where the chemicals can leach into the soil, Su took to innovating a more environmentally friendly solution. He made it his mission to drive the battery-free IoT movement, reducing the environmental impact of disposed batteries, the cost of ownership, and the maintenance burden of connected devices.

Su helped to develop Lowest Power Radio and On-demand Wake-Up technologies for Atmosic’s systems-on-chips (SoCs), which enable a 100X reduction in power consumption compared to competitive solutions. By dropping power utilization to such a low level, connected devices can take advantage of energy harvested from ambient sources, such as photovoltaic (light), RF power, and kinetic and thermal energy, to power them.

The combination of these three technologiesLowest Power Radio, On-demand Wake-Up, and controlled energy harvestingused with standards-driven wireless connectivity (e.g., Bluetooth 5), enables batteries to last the lifetime of the device, or even replace the need for batteries altogether in some cases. By avoiding frequent battery replacement or charging, Atmosic’s solutions also shrink the overall cost of ownership and cut down the amount of times that connected devices are offline for maintenance.

Furthermore, Atmosic has developed techniques to eliminate large current spikes drawn from batteries. The company's solutions ensure that the current drawn from batteries remains low at all times, whether the chip is in active mode, sleep mode, or anything in between. As a result, these solutions support a broad range of battery technologies, including the traditional types of batteries, small coin cells, and newer cutting-edge battery technologies like paper batteries that have much smaller capacities.

Over the past six years, Su has harnessed creativity and technological innovation to not only create a variety of solutions, but collaborate with fellow innovators to continue the momentum toward a sustainable IoT future. He has led partnerships with industry leaders to help achieve the company’s mission, including E Ink, Energous, Globalscale Technologies, QuickLogic, SMK Electronics, Tonly, and more.

Most recently, Su led Atmosic’s partnership with Exeger, the inventor and manufacturer of the groundbreaking Powerfoyle solar-cell technology that converts all forms of light into clean, endless energy. Atmosic and Exeger’s collaboration makes it easy for manufacturers to develop devices with significantly extended or even endless battery life, while creating attractive solutions for low-power standards-driven IoT devices such as Bluetooth remote controls, sensors, beacons, and keyboards.

David Su knows that the market’s battery consumption trajectory is simply not sustainable for the environment or the growth of the IoT. He has innovated to push through the crowded silicon market with a groundbreaking solution that brings us all one step closer to achieving a greener planet.

Read more articles in the Innovators 2023 issue.

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