ACE Awards Innovator of the Year: Yogesh Ramadass

-April 24, 2013

Yogesh Ramadass was named Innovator of the Year at the 2013 ACE Awards ceremony for his pioneering work in energy-harvesting circuits. The Texas Instruments lead design engineer helped craft the TPS62736, an ultralow-power converter that manages microwatts generated from solar, thermoelectric, magnetic, and vibration energy.

Yogesh Ramadass is helping
pioneer the young but promising
field of energy harvesting.

The device is actually a second-generation design that evolved out of graduate work at MIT as part of a five-person team assisted by Anantha Chandrakasan, the head of electrical engineering and computer science there. The group developed a 0.3V energy-harvesting part that was presented in a 2008 paper at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). It ultimately saw the light of day as a TI product, the bq25504.

The MIT work was funded in part by a grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA sees potential for energy-harvesting devices to power tiny, self-contained sensor networks that could be dispersed in a battlefield.

Others believe energy-harvesting circuits will drive implantable medical devices, using the body’s own heat or movement to provide power. In addition, researchers say the technology could be suitable for use in body area networks and RFID and other wireless terminals.

“Energy harvesting is still a relatively new field,” Ramadass said in a recent article for TI’s internal Web site. “It’s exciting going from research to productization and creating a market,” he added.

Ramadass is already at work on a nextgeneration energy-harvesting chip at TI. He also participates in developing highpower wired and wireless mobile-phone charger systems.

The TI engineer has co-authored dozens of technical papers, at least 10 of which have been cited dozens of times in related works. He was a co-recipient of the Jack Kilby best student paper award at ISSCC 2009 and the Beatrice Winner award for editorial excellence at ISSCC 2007. He serves on the technical program committee for ISSCC and also served as the chair of the analog, MEMS, mixed-signal, and imaging electronics committee for another technical conference.

ACE Award winners:

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