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Smart battery monitoring device

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MICROCHIP Technology has introduced the PS402, a smart battery system (SBS) compliant, battery management integrated circuit (IC) that integrates all rechargeable battery monitoring functions for nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries on a single chip.

With accuracy to within ±1 per cent, the PS402 provides the host system and user with valuable information that can be used for enhanced power management while providing the system's user with optimum predictability.

The PS402 is a fuel gauge IC that combines Microchip's RISC-based, microcontroller with an advanced 15-bit analogue-to-digital (A/D) converter.

Accurate information from the battery enables the user to balance critical tasks with runtime while extending the life of the battery.

"Over the past five years the power consumption in portable electronics has grown; meanwhile, the increase in battery capacity to support the rising system power consumption has lagged," said Tom Bianchi, Microchip Technology district sales manager for Australia and New Zealand.

"Microchip has designed the PS402 to offer its customers an accurate battery management technology that bridges the gap between battery capacity and system power requirements."

Microchip's Accuron technology refers to the company's advanced-battery models and patented algorithms, which are stored in on-chip programmable memory. The PS402 incorporates Accuron technology to provide a high-accuracy, cost-effective solution for NiMH applications.

In addition, the low-component count on a PS402-based solution reduces implementation cost and circuit board size. The PS402 minimises space requirements through integration of a precision time base, regulator and temperature sensor.

The precise, on-chip time base eliminates the need for an external crystal while the PS402 derives its power directly from the battery, eliminating the need for an external regulator.

To monitor battery temperature, the user has the option of selecting an integrated temperature sensor or an external thermistor.

The host communication uses a compliant SBData v1.1 command set over SMBus v1.1 2-wire interface.

Microchip's PowerSmart battery management family includes the PS401, the first in the 400 series, focusing on Li-Ion and Li-Polymer applications for the notebook, PDA and digital camera markets.

The PS402 is designed for NiMH applications that use 6-12 cells in series. For removable battery packs, the PS402 is embedded in the battery pack, meanwhile, for embedded applications it can be implemented on the system board.

The tools for this battery management offering consist of the PowerTool development software combined with PowerCal and PowerInfo hardware to offer a complete solution for configuring, calibrating and testing Accuron-based smart batteries.

The PS402 is packaged in a single-chip 28-pin SSOP. Samples and volume production quantities are available now.

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