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Controller combines digital manager and battery charger

Posted: 11 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Vince Biancomano? Summit Microelectronics? SMB118? power manager IC?

Summit Microelectronics' SMB118, part of a second generation of multi-output programmable power manager ICs, integrates six precision programmable regulators and a programmable battery charger to cut system size and cost in portable consumer electronics.

The SMB118, working from a 2.7V to 6V input, incorporates three synchronous step-down converters, one step-up converter, one configurable step-up or step-down converter, and one low-dropout (LDO) linear regulator. Also included is a battery charger for single-cell lithium-ion and lithium-polymer cells. All charging parameters are configurable to accommodate a wide variety of battery packs without hardware changes.

Using the company's PC-based graphical (GUI) development environment, designers can program a multiple output power supply and associated power management functions with a few clicks of a mouse. In high-volume applications, the company provides a product that is pre-programmed with the customer's "custom configuration" at no extra cost. The chip's I2C interface facilitates digital power management. Non-volatile memory allows the user to configure power functions and parameters for each channel: Individual channel enabling/disabling, power-up/down sequencing, power-up slew rate control, static and dynamic output voltage control (Dynamic Voltage Management, particularly useful in Xscale and ARM CPU applications to control the brightness of LED backlights).

The chip also provides a broad range of intelligent power system diagnostics and monitoring functions. These include input and output monitoring for under/over-voltage/over-current (UV/OV/OC), integrated RESET control, low/missing battery detection and AC/DC battery detection.

The SMB118 features an output voltage accuracy of 1.5 percent for all DC/DC converters, and a float voltage accuracy of 1 percent for the battery charger. DC/DC power conversion efficiency is up to 95 percent. A shutdown mode is included to reduce current consumption to 0.1mA, and automatic PWM/PFM operation improves efficiency at light loads. For noise-sensitive radio-frequency (RF) or audio applications, users can set the SMB118's oscillator frequency between 500kHz and 1MHz in 250kHz steps. Protection features include circuitry for short-circuit current limiting and thermal overload.

The SMB118, in a 7-by-7mm QFN package and rated for operation over 0 to 70C or -40C to 85C, is priced at $4.89 each in 10,000-unit quantities. The company offers customers the SMB118EV companion evaluation board and a GUI software for easy prototyping. Design kit software can be downloaded from the company website.

- Vince Biancomano

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