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Digital isolator ICs support SMBus, PMBus apps

Posted: 18 May 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital isolator IC? SMBus PMBus? IC Silicon Laboratories?

A comprehensive family of CMOS-based digital isolator ICs once again demonstrates that for some design problems, electrical (galvanic) isolation of signal paths is often the best and, in some cases, the only way to go.

Silicon Laboratories Inc. has introduced its Si84xx ISOpro digital isolators, comprising over 70 distinct devices with various combinations of channel count and directionality up to six channels. The digital isolators are targeted at I?C, SMBus, PMBus applications, as well as motor drive, medical instrumentation, hybrid electric vehicle, battery stack monitoring, industrial networking and power supplies.

The vendor claims that these parts, in addition to being the first in these numerous BOM-reducing configurations, are the fastest parts available, and with one-half or less jitter than competitive parts, and far lower power consumption as well, among other features.

Isolation is achieved using a miniature RF link approach, which SiLabs maintains is better and more reliable than isolation based on optocoupler, giant magnetoresistive, pulse transformer or other galvanic techniques. Dynamic performance is specified with channel-to-channel skew less than 2ns, and propagation delay less than 10ns, both critical specs for high-speed, multichannel performance.

The devices feature data rates up to 150MSps, a choice of isolation ratings up to 2.5kVrms; low jitter of under 250psec (peak) (critical for minimizing data transmission errors and BER); ESD ratings of 4kV HBM (human body model), 2kV CDM (charged device model), and 400V MM (machine model), as well as 25kV/?m CMTI (common mode transient immunity) and up to 50V/m of electric field immunity. Overall power consumption is under 1.4mA/channel at 1Mbit/s.

Samples of the ISOpro Si84xx one- and two-channel devices are available in narrow-body SOIC-8 packages; the 3, 4, 5 and 6-channel devices are in narrow-body SOIC-16 and wide-body SOIC-16 packages. Pricing starts at $0.59 in high volumes.

- Bill Schweber
Planet Analog

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