Batteryless Intermittent Computer Systems


Brandon Lucia
Carnegie Mellon University


Professor Daniel Sanchez
The emergence of extremely low-power computing components and
efficient energy-harvesting power systems has led to the creation of
computer systems that operate using tiny amounts of energy scavenged
from their environment. These devices create opportunities for
systems where batteries and tethered power are inapplicable: sensors
deeply embedded in pervasive civil infrastructure, in-body health
monitors, and devices in extreme environments like glaciers,
volcanoes, and space. The key challenge is that these devices operate
only intermittently, as energy is available, requiring both hardware
and software to tolerate power failures that may happen hundreds of
times per second. This talk will describe the landscape of
intermittent computing systems. I will briefly describe our newest
programming and execution models that are robust to arbitrarily
frequent power failures, providing a simple programming model and
reliable intermittent operation. I will discuss our latest hardware
platform, Capybara, which enables applications to dynamically
provision energy to different parts of an application. I will close
with a discussion of our recent work on intermittent deep neural
network inference and a recent deployment of an intermittent computer
system work to the International Space Station.

Brandon Lucia is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer
Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Lucia's lab's work spans
programming languages, software and hardware computer systems, and
computer architecture. Lucia and his research group are defining the
area of intermittent computing on energy-harvesting devices, and
developing future edge computing systems that make near-sensor
computing more efficient on Earth and in deployments to Earth's orbit.
Lucia's work has been recognized with a number of awards, including
several best papers, 3 IEEE MICRO Top Picks, a 2016 Google Faculty
Award, and the 2015 Bell Labs Prize. His lab's website is and his personal website is at
**Refreshments at 2:45 pm