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High-current switches kickstart power distribution

Posted: 08 Sep 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:micrel? mic2014? mic2015? mic2016? power switch?

Micrel's MIC2014/15/16 high-current power switches feature so-called kickstart current limiting to bring a new level of adaptability to peripheral power management. The chips, part of the company's family of MIC20xx power distribution switches introduced earlier this month, are aimed at applications requiring current limiting as protection against short circuits, including PCs, set top boxes, game controllers and USB host devices.

"The advent of portable mass storage devices has changed the peripheral power landscape," noted Scott Brown, director of mixed-signal and RF products. "Micrel's new family of high-side power switches is designed to act intelligently in these situations. The kickstart feature permits momentary high-current surges to pass through the switch unrestricted, thereby feeding the device the burst of power it needs. The result is trouble-free peripheral operation without any sacrifice in overall system safety."

Many consumer devices require an initial burst of power, well above their steady state operating level, to get up and running. In turn, this initial surge presents a problem to standard current limiting switches because they're designed to restrict these sudden surges in current. Their response is incompatible with the peripheral's needs.

The new devices thus provide the appropriate current limiting, with values pre-set at 500mA, 800mA and 1.2A. The ICs offer a typical on-resistance of 70 milliohms, fault flagging and slew rate controlall in what the company says is the smallest form factor now available.

These ICs will serve multiple (USB) ports to provide both cost and space savings. Standard features include a 2.5V to 5.5V operating range, output enable control input, thermal protection, under-voltage lock-out, low quiescent current and fault masking that prevents nuisance alarms on current surges or hot plug events.

The MIC2014/15/16 are currently available in volume quantities and in two package optionsSOT-23 and a 2-by-2mm MLF. Pricing starts at 75 cents each in 1,000-unit quantities for the SOT-23 version and 85 cents for the MLF.

- Vince Biancomano


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