PCB Assembly Services - Screaming Circuits: Grape Power from Ti


Grape Power from Ti

Here at the show, we ended up next to Texas Instruments and I spent some time talking with Adrian, their Product Marketing Engineer for the MSP430 ultra low-power MCU. He brought over one of his demo boards which has to be just about the coolest thing I've seen at the show.

MPS430 grape power 002sm

Plenty of things need low power and there are lots of little 8-bit processors that use flea power, but his MSP430 is a 16-bit processor that runs so efficiently that he's powering it with three grapes. He stuck copper and zinc electrodes into grapes - I think they're seedless - and is running it as a clock (as in tells time type clock).

In the picture, here, it's setting next to a Beagleboard powered by it's uncle, the OMAP3530. We built this particular Beagleboard, but we didn't build the grape clock. Pretty clever stuff.

Duane Benson
I wonder if the grapes still taste okay after all the electrons switch sides like that...


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