Coursebooks 2017-2018


Energy Autonomous Wireless Smart Systems


Lecturer(s) :

Botteron Cyril
Briand Danick
Burg Andreas Peter
Dehollain Catherine
Maloberti Franco




Every 2 years


Next time: 5-9 February 2018


The course provides in depth knowledge on how to design an energy autonomous microsystem embedding sensors with wireless transmission of information. It covers the energy generation, power management, and data processing and transmission with an emphasis on low-power and energy efficient operation.


Monday 5.2.18: Neuchâtel
Tuesday 6.2.18: Lausanne
Wednesday 7.2.18: Lausanne
Thursday 8.2.18: Neuchâtel
Friday 9.2.18: Lausanne


Time: 9h to 18h (all days)
Location Lausanne: Room CO122
Location Neuchâtel: Room MC B1 283

Evaluation: Thursday, March 22nd - 9h to 17h: Salle CO121, EPFL Lausanne


Introduction to Energy Autonomous Wireless Systems (D. Briand / 2h)
- Description of course organization and content
- Introduction to EAWS, building blocks, state of the art, applications, case studies


Energy sources and storage (D. Briand / 6h)
Working principles, technologies and comparison (efficiency, power density, potential applications) of energy sources and storage:
- Batteries, supercapacitors, micro-fuel cells
- Energy harvesters: solar, radiation, mechanical, thermal, chemical


RF, inductive and acoustic powering and backscattering wireless communication (C. Dehollain / 6h)
- Near field, far field and ultrasonic remote powering
- AC to DC converter (rectifier) and voltage regulator dedicated to magnetic, electro-magnetic and electro-acoustic coupling
- Charge storage on a large load capacitor, on a super-capacitor and on a rechargeable battery
- Remote powering RFID smart systems and sensor nodes
- Backscattering data communication for telecoms and biomedical application
- Load modulation for telecoms and biomedical applications


Ultra-low power and efficient electronics (K. Salimi / 6h)
- Converters for power sources and energy storage
- Electronics strategies for energy harvesters
- Electronics for sensors and low-power sensor usages
- Sensor selection criteria for low-power consumption
- Low-energy sensor data processing, storage and transmission strategies


Wireless communications (C. Botteron / 8h)
- Introduction: applications, characteristics, protocols and models;
- The wireless channel: propagation principles, link budget;
- Access and controls: coding, modulations, medium access controls, performance metrics;
- Existing wireless solutions: proprietary, standardized;
- Practical constraints with energy harvesting


Digital low power VLSI design (A. Burg / 3h)
- Power consumption in VLSI systems
- Low-power IC design techniques and physical limitations (reliability)
- Technology selection


System level design: Case studies (A. Burg / 3h)
- System-level design tradeoffs for low power: processing/storage/communications
- Component selection and integration
- Power management
- Case studies


We will also propose this course to the EDEE program


Autonomous, Electronics, Energy, Harvesting, Ultra Low-Power, Sensors, Communication

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

Basics in electronics and in microelectronics

Assessment methods

Report and oral presentation

In the programs

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German