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We investigate theoretical and practical aspects of the design of far-field RF power extraction systems consisting of antennas, impedance matching networks and rectifiers. Fundamental physical relationships that link the operating bandwidth and range are related to technology dependent quantities like threshold voltage and parasitic capacitances. This allows us to design efficient planar antennas, coupled resonator impedance matching networks and low-power rectifiers in standard CMOS technologies (0.5-mum and 0.18-mum) and accurately predict their performance. Experimental results from a prototype power extraction system that operates around 950 MHz and integrates these components together are presented. Our measured RF power-up threshold (in 0.18-mum, at 1 muW load) was 6 muWplusmn10%, closely matching the predicted value of 5.2 muW.