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IIC-China features power trends

Posted: 01 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Echo Zhao? Abbon Yan? IIC-China? ESC-China? embedded technology?

The 11th IIC-China and 6th ESC-China open in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing this month. Showcasing the latest IC applications and embedded technologies, the annual system design events will gather over 180 semiconductor majors and local vendors eager to show their newest products, highlighting the latest trends in power management and automotive electronics.

Engineers are working tirelessly to create a power-management chip boasting high integration, low power consumption and anti-interference properties. Exhibitors are expected to showcase products and solutions geared toward these, and address design challenges together with engineers.

Linear Technology Corp. will unveil its ?Module series, the first synchronous, switch-mode DC/DC step-down regulator with a built-in inductor. Similarly, Texas Instruments will introduce its non-isolated plug-in power module series that guarantees high instant responsive speed while reducing customers' output capacitor requirements. ON Semiconductor will also integrate a linear voltage regulator and a multipurpose charge pump into a single module to create a buck/boost regulating charge pump for low-power applications.

Intergrated packages
Following the trend toward more functions and smaller packages, exhibitors such as Fairchild Semiconductor and Philips Semiconductor have integrated IGBTs and MCUs, while others have integrated PWMs and power MOSFETs. Other examples are Intersil's two-phase synchronous PWM controller IC and Infineon's integration of MOSFETs and PWM flash drivers into a single package.

Dwindling energy sources have brought to fore the urgency of energy conservation and efficiency enhancement. In line with this, National Semiconductor developed PowerWise, the first power-management unit to adopt digital control technology. The unit can reduce power consumption by up to 70 percent, and raise system and power conversion efficiencies to the highest level.

TI's SmartReflex solution attempts to address both dynamic and static leakage power issues. Also worth seeing are Maxim's small-size high-precision battery monitor, MAX6775-MAX6781, which boasts a current of 3?A and precision of 1 percent; ST Semiconductor's STM1061 series, a precise voltage detector IC suitable for various voltage-monitoring applications; and TI's bq24721 charger, which limits the error of constant voltage charging range to 0.4 percent and the error of current amplifier output range to 2 percent.

Although global IC giants still reign supreme, technology suppliers from Mainland China and Taiwan have penetrated the power-management IC market in recent years, successfully catering to low- to medium-end applications. Many of them will showcase their solutions at IIC-China. Exhibitors such as Shenzhen Changyuntong IC Design Co., Power Analog Microelectronics, SGMC and MC Devices will display their own power-management ICs for portable battery-driven products.

Aside from penetrating the mainboard market, power-management IC vendors from Taiwan have also ventured into other products such as MP3s, digital cameras and LCD panels. Must-sees are Anpec Electronics Corp.'s power-management solutions for MP3 and integrated power chip for the emerging PMP market, and RICHTEK's zero-inductance charge-pump-type LED-driving IC.

Automotive electronics
Electronic devices such as power train control, electronic control for chassis and automobile body and anti-theft systems have largely influenced the performance of cars. In recent years, cars have gradually shifted from having mechanical systems to electronic control devices.

Freescale developed FlexRay MFR4200, a controller that supports high-performance electromechanical systems such as wire control turning and braking. TI's C28x controller helps improve the real-time processing ability of EPS and integrated starter-motor systems to reduce total weight and production time, and improve fuel economy.

Freescale, Infineon, Atmel, Maxim, Microchip, Toshiba and Philips will also showcase their accessory IC schemes for tire pressure monitoring systems.

Growing consumer demand for infotainment and comfort has spurred the development of vehicle-mounted electronic devices. Examples are ST Semiconductor's SoC GPS baseband controller software library and ADI's Blackfin series, which boasts the combined functions of a DSP and MCU and has brought the remote information processing system into more cars.

Growing demand for automotive safety devices has inspired the development of products such as Micron Technology's image sensor with a mounted Finally, Philips has integrated its mature front-end tuner and analog signal processing technology to reduce the number of external components needed for producing high-performance car radios and simplify the design process.

- Echo Zhao and Abbon Yan
Electronic Engineering Times-China

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