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Atmel rolls out 'first' driver IC in BCD-on-SOI tech

Posted: 13 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel? ATA6826? driver IC? BCD-on-SOI? SMARTIS?

Atmel's ATA6826 driver IC

Atmel Corp. has announced the availability of the new ATA6826 driver IC, the first such product in high-voltage BCD-on-SOI technology (SMARTIS) available on the market. The new driver IC promises improved performance, a broad range of protection features and an attractive price, the company said. The new driver IC is designed to control two DC motors or up to three different loads via a microcontroller in automotive applications. The device's high voltage capability (up to 40V) makes it suitable for use in 24V supplied trucks or industrial applications.

In contrast to standard BCDMOS bulk technology, SMARTIS technology uses a silicon on insulator (SOI) substrate, resulting in an extremely low leakage current, Atmel said. A significant reduction in crosstalk between power and digital circuits on the same die is achieved, and lower parasitic effects give added value for EMC performance. According to the company, the chip size reductionthe gate density is equivalent to 0.5?m CMOSallowed the design of a cost effective and powerful high voltage power driver IC. SMARTIS technology also reduces manufacturing costs by simplifying the IC fabrication process through the elimination of high energy implementation for well doping and simplification of device isolation, explained Atmel.

Each of the three high-side and three low-side drivers of the ATA6826 is capable of driving currents up to 1A. The drivers are internally connected to form three half-bridges and can be controlled separately from a standard serial data interface. Therefore, all kinds of loads such as bulbs, resistors, capacitors and inductors can be combined, Atmel said. The IC design especially supports the application of H-bridges to drive DC motors. The operation modes forward, reverse, brake, as well as the high impedance will be controlled by the SPI interface.

Protection features
The device provides several protection features such as overtemperature warning and shutdown, overload, overvoltage protection and full protection against short circuits. Several diagnostic bits are set in the SPI output register and can be read by the microcontroller. In case of undervoltage at the supply pin, the power-supply fail bit in the output register is set and all outputs are disabled. If the overtemperature pre-warning bit is set, the system developer can implement software routines on the microcontroller to decrease the power dissipation and temperature. If the temperature increases further, the IC shuts down at a certain level to prevent destruction. The device also meets strict automotive qualification demands (protection against conducted interference, EMC and ESD protection) and can withstand transients as specified in ISO/TR 7637.

Samples of the ATA6826 driver IC are available today in Pb-free SO14 packages with pricing starting at 97 cents for 100,000-piece quantities. An application board for development support can be ordered for $131. Additional driver family members with enhanced features like PWM control and also devices for high-temperature applications of up to 150C ambient temperature will be introduced in Q4 2006.

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