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PMICs extend battery life, cuts BOM costs

Posted: 05 May 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power management IC? Atom Intel? processor? PMIC?


Dialog Semiconductor has launched a family of power management ICs (PMICs) designed to optimize the power efficiency of applications using the Intel Atom processor Z5xx series. The DA6001 provides all power supplies, power management and clock supplies in a single chip.

The PMIC improves battery life, simplifies design, improves system reliability, requires less than half the board space and cuts the BOM compared with using discrete power management parts.

The DA6001 supports the Intel Atom processor for embedded computing applications, automotive applications like in-vehicle infotainment, netbooks and mobile Internet devices. The device family will expand to support future Intel Atom processors and platforms for the embedded and portable space.

"The Intel Atom processor is power-optimized, delivering robust performance-per-watt for cost-effective embedded applications. The DA6001 as a companion IC, adds the ability to minimize power consumption across the complete platform, not just the processor, without adding the cost and complexity of multiple power management and clocking devices to achieve this," said Juergen Friedel, vice president and general manager at Dialog.

"Embedded developers are designing products used in thermally constrained environments and require very low-power solutions," said Ton Steenman, VP, digital enterprise group and general manager of the low-power embedded products division. "The combination of the Intel Atom processor Z5xx series and the DA6001 provides our customers with more choice in the way they can deliver extremely power-efficient solutions to a variety of embedded market segments."

From a single supply voltage, the IC provides low noise supplies to all platform voltage domains and current for system DDR2 memory. Four dc/dc buck converters power the platform hardware engine, the SCH core and FSB, both internal and external system memory and the CPU core - meeting IMVP-6 specification for the Intel Atom processor.

Further platform power demands are supplied by six high-performance, low dropout (LDO) voltage regulators, using Dialog's patented Smart Mirror technology, removing the need for a low power mode and simplifying power control in the system. A dedicated push-pull LDO is integrated into the device to terminate the address lines of the external RAM, further minimizing external components.

The DA6001 includes a clock synthesizer/driver according to Intel's CK610 specification providing all the necessary clocks via three separate fractional divisions PLLs.

Two analogue signal inputs can be multiplexed to a 10bit ADC for signal measurements and a charge pump, which is integrated to generate the 5V reference domain even if the input voltage drops below 5V. An autonomous state machine manages the complete system start-up and shutdown procedures as well as the state transitions of the Intel Atom processor during all operational modes.

Engineering samples will be available from June 2009 with volume production and AEC-Q100 qualified volume parts, for automotive applications, in 2H 09.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe

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