Top 10 power management ICs

Latest-generation electronic circuits offer an increasing number of features, obtained by using discrete and high-density programmable devices. The different power supply requirements of these components present designers with very demanding challenges. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon today to see applications that require 10 or more different power rails. Power management ICs (PMICs) allow you to effectively and efficiently solve the problem of multiple power supplies, simplifying the project and reducing the application’s time to market.

Able to handle multiple power lines simultaneously using a single chip, PMICs dramatically reduce component count and printed-circuit–board (PCB) space compared with a traditional discrete component solution. In addition to reducing the circuit footprint, PMICs improve product reliability and efficiency by integrating advanced protection, thermal management, and noise-immunity features. Functions commonly integrated into a PMIC include voltage converters and regulators, battery-charging circuits, LED drivers, real-time clocks (RTCs), sequencing, monitoring, and power-control circuits.

In this article, we will look at 10 of the best PMICs available ON the market for applications including consumer electronics, wearables, industrial sensors and actuators, IoT, and automotive.

Infineon Technologies OPTIREG

Infineon’s OPTIREG series PMICs offer multiple power rails for critical automotive applications, such as safety, powertrain, drivetrain, ADAS, body, and car security. OPTIREG PMICs offer safe, efficient, and reliable Voltage regulation thanks to the presence of pre- and post-regulation circuits, DC/DC converters, Linear regulators, and tracking. The additional monitoring and supervision functions allow you to meet the safety requirements needed by automotive applications.

The TLF35584QVHS2, whose block diagram is shown in Figure 1, provides eight output voltages (3.3 V, 5 V, and 5.8 V) for safety-relevant applications. It includes a 5-V low-drop post Regulator for communication supply, a 5-V/3.3-V low-drop post regulator for the microcontroller (MCU) supply, and a 5-V voltage reference for the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and for tracking two independent sensor supplies. Available in a Grade 0 thermally enhanced VQFN-48 package suitable for automated optical inspection, the TLF35584 provides support for ASIL-D functional-safety features, such as UV/OV monitoring, watchdog, error monitoring, safe-state controller with two outputs, and BIST.

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 1: TLF35584QVHS2 block diagram (Source: Infineon Technologies)

Nordic Semiconductor nPM1100

Known for its low-power short-range wireless chips, Nordic Semiconductor has developed deep experience in the design of low-power devices. Its first PMIC, the nPM1100, includes a highly efficient dual-mode configurable buck regulator and an integrated battery charger. It can be used as a complementary component to Nordic’s nRF52 and nRF53 SoCs or as a standalone PMIC for any other application.

The integrated battery charger supports lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries with different cell chemistries. Three charging modes are selectable (automatic trickle, constant current, and constant voltage) and battery thermal protection is included. The PMIC allows for charging batteries through USB with automatic port detection. As shown in Figure 2, the PMIC features a small footprint of only 27 mm2 (passive components included), while the power-conversion efficiency can be as high as 92%. Due to its extremely compact size, it is the right solution for wearables, connected medical devices, and other size-constrained applications.

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 2: Nordic nPM1100 (Source: Nordic Semiconductor)

Microchip Technology MIC7401

The MIC7401 from Microchip Technology Inc. is a configurable PMIC integrating five independent synchronous buck regulators up to 3 A, one independent non-synchronous boost regulator (200 mA), a high-speed I2C interface, and an E2PROM for storing regulators and sequencing parameters.

The device (Figure 3) can operate in two modes: normal and standby. In normal mode, the converters can be programmed to support different features, such as startup sequencing, soft-start ramp, output voltage levels, current-limit levels, and output discharge for each channel. In standby mode, the device enters a low-power mode featuring an extremely low quiescent current (200 µA) with all regulators on. The typical efficiency at 1 mA is 85%, whereas the peak buck efficiency can be up to 93%.

The MIC7401 is a multiple output device offering features such as software-configurable soft-start, sequencing, and digital voltage control, suitable for applications like solid-state drives, point-of-sale, servers, 3D glasses, infotainment, and network systems.

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 3: Microchip MIC7401 (Source: Microchip Technology)

Analog Devices ADP5320

Analog Devices, Inc. offers a wide portfolio of PMICs, further enriched after the acquisition of Maxim Integrated. The ADP5320 has been designed to address the requirements of battery-powered solutions like wearables, medical devices, IoT applications, and disposable sensor devices. As shown in the functional block diagram in Figure 4, the PMIC includes nine digitally adjustable regulators (buck-boost, buck, and low-dropout), a fuel gauge, a 12-bit ADC, 2 kB of OTP memory, and anti-counterfeit logic, all integrated in a compact 42-ball, 2.880 × 2.980-mm WLCSP package.

Operating from a 1.8-V to 5.5-V input supply voltage, the ADP5320 supports multiple types of batteries, as well as other types of DC power sources. In addition to the fuel gauge (which integrates a precision 16-bit coulomb counter) and the 12-bit ADC for monitoring junction temperature, battery, and output voltages, the PMIC includes a programmable sequencing engine and system fault recovery.

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 4: ADP5320 block diagram (Source: Analog Devices Inc.)

NXP Semiconductors PCA9420

NXP’s PCA9420 PMIC, targeted to provide multiple power rails for low-power MCU applications, includes a 315-mA linear battery charger, I2C programmable constant-current and constant-voltage values, and several protection features such as input overvoltage, overcurrent, and thermal protection. As shown in Figure 5, the device integrates two step-down buck converters with an I2C programmable output voltage and two low-dropout (LDO) regulators to provide different voltage rails to the system. The chip is available in a 2.09 × 2.09-mm, 5 × 5-bump, 0.4-mm–pitch WLCSP package and in a 3 × 3-mm, 24-pin QFN package.

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 5: PCA9420 block diagram (Source: NXP Semiconductors)

Renesas Electronics DA9068

Developed by Dialog Semiconductor, later acquired by Renesas Electronics Corp., the DA9068 (Figure 6) is a device designed to supply systems with multi-core CPUs, I/Os, DDR memory, and peripherals. The PMIC features high-efficiency dual-phase, single-phase, and RF buck converters, which can be configured to meet the startup sequence, as well as the voltage and timing requirements of most applications. Dynamic voltage control allows dynamic control of the supply voltages according to the operating point of the system. The control can be activated through the I2C interface or via general-purpose I/O pins (GPIOs). Additional modules, such as an RTC, general-purpose 12-bit ADC, and GPIOs, are included in the device to support functions such as battery-voltage supervision and device overtemperature protection.

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 6: DA9068 block diagram (Source: Renesas Electronics Corp.)

STMicroelectronics STMP30

The STMicroelectronics STMP30 is a device specifically designed to power the AMOLED display on battery-powered portable devices. Three integrated DC/DC converters provide all the power rails required for the AMOLED display panel, with output voltages programmable through a single-wire protocol on external pins. The first converter has a boost topology and allows you to adjust the output voltage between 4.6 V and 5.0 V in increments of 100 mV, thus optimizing the display brightness in any operating conditions. Featuring a high system efficiency to preserve battery lifetime, the STMP30 has a low quiescent current and integrates functions like soft-start with controlled inrush current limit, thermal shutdown, and short-circuit protection.

Texas Instruments TPS650330-Q1

The TPS650330-Q1 from Texas Instruments Inc. is a highly integrated PMIC addressing the automotive camera module application. Qualified to AEC-Q100 Grade 1, the device (Figure 7) includes three step-down buck converters and one LDO regulator. The BUCK1 converter accepts an input voltage up to 18.3 V for connections to power-over-coax camera modules. Both the LDO and the converters (which operate in fixed-frequency PWM mode) have separate voltage inputs, providing maximum flexibility in design and sequencing. The TPS650330-Q1 is available in a 24-pin VQFN package (4 × 4 mm).

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 7: TPS650330-Q1 application circuit (Source: Texas Instruments)

Rohm Semiconductor BD71850MWV

This BD71850MWV PMIC from Rohm Semiconductor has been designed to provide all power rails required by the NXP i.MX 8M Nano processors and system peripherals. The device includes a sequencer compatible with power modes supported by i.MX 8M Nano processors, six buck converters, six LDOs, and control logic to supply power also to the required DDR memory. With a target efficiency ranging from 83% to 95%, the buck converters accept a wide input voltage range from 2.7 V to 5.5 V, supporting different power sources, from batteries to USB. The BD71850MWV is a programmable PMIC suitable for powering single-core, dual-core, and quad-core SoCs. Optimized for solutions with a reduced footprint, the device allows you to reduce both the part number and PCB mounting area by 42%, compared with an equivalent discrete configuration.

Analog Devices MAX77655

The MAX77655 device from Maxim Integrated, now part of ADI, is a low-quiescent–current, single-input, multiple-output PMIC with four outputs, delivering up to 700-mA total output current. The MAX77655 provides a complete and efficient power supply solution for low-power and small-footprint applications. As shown in the simplified block diagram (Figure 8), the device provides four programmable buck-boost switching regulator outputs, requiring only one Inductor. It can operate from a single Li-ion battery delivering a total of 700-mA output current (3.7 VIN, 1.8 VOUT) in a compact package sized less than 40 mm2. The startup sequence can be controlled through the integrated sequencer, while an I2C interface allows you to dynamically configure and monitor the PMIC.

Top 10 power management ICs

Figure 8: MAX77655 block diagram (Source: Analog Devices Inc.)

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