Power Management Ics

Many modern electronic devices require different voltages to power the various components within them. Many modern devices also depend upon batteries as their main source of power. Power management ICs allow these devices to function efficiently without quickly draining the battery.

Power Management ICs are integral components of many devices, particularly mobile devices, because of these capabilities. They make it possible for devices to operate more efficiently and to reduce the amount of time required to charge batteries by extending the life of those power supplies.

Power management ICs are also used in designs that allow for isolation and for the protection of circuits. Power management is one of the most fundamental aspects of engineering electronic devices, which quite often have to utilize one power source to supply several different voltages.

What are Power Management ICs (PMICs)?

A power management IC is an integrated circuit that can provide several different functions. They can convert DC voltages to other DC voltages, which is important in devices where the components may require more than one voltage to operate. They can help to select between different power sources when there is more than one available. They can scale voltages and provide power sequencing functions.

Power management ICs can also provide battery charging functions, something that is a necessity for most any mobile device.

These many capacities make power management ICs common components in modern electronics. Without them, some of the most popular consumer devices would be not nearly as convenient as they are now in regards to how long they could function off of a battery charge and how many different functions they could perform.

What is Battery Management?

Battery management describes a range of different functions. At the root of it, however, it means measuring, charging and monitoring the battery or the battery pack in a device. Battery management systems are sometimes known by the acronym BMS.

These devices can monitor the temperature of a battery, which is vital in some applications. They can, of course, measure the voltage of a battery, ensuring that it has adequate charge to power the system to which it is attached.

These devices can do more than measure the charge of a battery, however. They can measure the health of the battery, as well, providing data to the user that lets them know whether the battery is functioning properly or if it needs to be replaced.

There are more advanced functions that battery management systems can provide, as well. They protect batteries and monitor them for charge in almost all cases, however.

What is Voltage Regulation?

Many electrical systems have varying amounts of load on them. Your computer, for instance, may have external devices connected to it and disconnected from it regularly. When the load on a circuit varies, the voltage has to remain constant in most cases and that is what voltage regulation makes possible.

Voltage regulation can be passive or active. In the former case, the voltage regulation results from some property of a component on the circuit. In active voltage regulation, a specific action is taken when the voltage on a system drops or rises outside of a given range.

What are Charging Functions?

Charging functions allow the charge in a battery to be replenished when it is exhausted. This is done by running electrical current through the battery.

Some batteries require different charging methods than others. Depending upon the type of battery being charged, it may need to be disconnected immediately upon being fully charged or it may be fine with a constant charge running through it. Battery charging can be done at different rates, as well, which introduces other variables into the process that need to be regulated.

There are many different types of battery chargers on the market. Trickle chargers, for instance, charge batteries over a very long period of time. A fast battery charger can replenish a spent battery quickly, but has to be used and monitored carefully. There are also intelligent battery chargers on the market. These come in two main types. There are battery chargers that are simple electronic devices that react to the state of the battery, such as by cutting the charging current off when the output voltage reaches a certain level. There are also batteries designed with their own power management systems, called smart batteries.

Universal chargers are designed to work with many different types of batteries.

AC-DC Converters

AC/DC converters are devices that usually plug into house current and convert the AC that they draw from the wall into DC current that is used by an electrical device. The most common design is the wall wart. These usually have a large, rectangular box into which the plug is affixed. Most computer modems, routers and a great deal of other electronic equipment uses these devices.

These devices are sometimes used to charge batteries, in addition to providing direct power to the devices into which they are plugged. For example, some electric razors have a battery that can be charged by plugging it into the AC/DC converter, but that will also function using power from the converter when the battery is drained.

AC/DC converters are among the most common electronic components. Many common household devices, including computers, utilize DC current, which has to be converted from the AC current supplied by the house mains.

Battery Back-Up ICs

Battery back-up ICs can select a battery power source in the event that the regular source of power is cut off to a device. They can provide uninterrupted power to a device, preventing shut downs and other issues.

Battery Charge Controller ICs

Battery Charge Controller ICs control the charging process for a battery. They can be incorporated into larger consumer devices, providing a way for the consumer to charge up an internal battery.

Battery Fuel Gauge ICs

battery fuel gauge icsBattery fuel gauge integrated circuits can provide information on the state of the batteries charge, the time until the batteries empty, the temperature of the cells, and other information that is vital to knowing whether the battery is adequately charged or whether it needs to be charged.

Boost Converters

boost converter is a type of integrated circuit that takes an input voltage and outputs a greater voltage. These devices are also referred to as step up converters, as they step-up the voltage that they receive when they output it.

Buck Boost Switching Regulators

buck boost switching regulator is a DC to DC converter that can produce various output voltages. They can function as either a boost converter or a buck converter.

Buck Converters

Buck converters are also referred to as step down converters. These are DC to DC converters that output a lower voltage than their input voltage. These are very common devices used with electronics.

Charge Pumps

Charge pumps are simple circuits that employ capacitors. In these circuits, the capacitors function as energy storage devices. These can output a higher or lower voltage than the voltage that they receive.

Clamping Circuits

Clamping circuits can change the positive or negative peaks of a signal to an established level. They perform this function by changing the value of a DC voltage.

Current Limit Switches

Current limit switches are often employed as safety devices. They can regulate current so that it does not exceed a certain level, ensuring that the loads attached to it are safe from an over current condition.

Current Sensors

Current Sensor ICSCurrent sensors can provide information about the level of signal in an electrical system. They may be used to provide data or to actually initiate an active response to an over current or under current condition.

DC-DC Controllers

DC-DC Controllers are employed in managing the charge of a battery.

DC-DC Converters

DC-DC converters are capable of taking a specific input voltage and converting it to a different output voltage. They are utilized in many different capacities and come in designs that both increase and decrease the output voltage relative to the input voltage.

DC-DC Power Supply Modules

DC-DC power supply modules can provide a regulated level of power to another electronic device or component by increasing or decreasing the DC power that it receives.

Feedback Signal Generators

Feedback signal generators are signal generators capable of generating a wide variety of different waveforms and that are utilized in many different applications.

General Purpose Drivers

General purpose drivers are drivers that are designed to be employed in a wide variety of roles and that can interface with various external devices or batteries.

Hot Swap Controllers

Hot swap controllers are devices that allow circuit boards and other peripherals to be removed and added to a functioning electronic system without powering down that system to accommodate the change.

Intelligent Power Switches

Intelligent power switches can monitor the electrical conditions in a circuit and take an active response accordingly.

Lighting Ballast Drivers

Lighting ballast drivers are utilized to regulate current flowing through lighting systems.

Linear Voltage Regulators

Linear voltage regulators are able to ensure that the voltage across any electrical system remains constant. They allow various loads to be attached to any electrical system without changing the voltage.

Load Share Controllers

Load Share ControllersLoad share controllers allow the distribution of an electrical load across multiple different devices.

Low Dropout Voltage Regulators

Low dropout voltage regulators are characterized by being able to function with a very low minimum operating voltage. These are high-efficiency devices.

MOSFET Power Drivers

MOSFET Power Drivers are power drivers that function with a MOSFET semiconductor component.

Motor Driver ICs

Motor Driver ICs are power drivers that are designed to be used along with electric motors. They come in many different variations and are used in everything from large scale industrial applications to very small motorized devices.

Piezoelectric Drivers

Piezoelectric drivers are drivers designed specifically to work with piezoelectric devices.

Power Factor & PWM Controllers

Power factor and PWM controllers are devices that allow for control over the ratio of power flowing to the load versus the total power in the circuit. PWM controllers allow control over the pulse of an alternating current signal.

Power Factor Controllers

The power factor in an AC circuit is the ratio of the power that is actually flowing to the load on the circuit and the apparent power in the circuit. It is expressed as a number between -1 and 1. Power Factor Controllers allow for the regulation of this.

Power Factor Pre-Regulator Circuits

Power Factor Pre-Regulator Circuits are integrated circuits that come in a wide range of switching frequencies and supply counts. Various pin counts are available, as well.

Power Multiplexers

Power multiplexers allow for the monitoring, protection and for other functions within a circuit. They can be used in a variety of different applications.

Processor Supervisors

Available in a wide range of configurations, processor supervisors include active low, push-pull, active high and other output drivers among their options. The ICs come with a range of options for the number of supervisors.

PWM Controllers

PWM controllers can be used to control the amount of power delivered to a load without incurring the losses that would result from linear power delivery by resistive means. Potential drawbacks to this technique are the pulsations defined by the duty cycle, switching frequency and properties of the load.

PWM Current Mode Controllers

PWM current code controllers are used in industrial systems and in other systems that require load regulation on a point-to-point basis.

PWM Secondary Side Controllers

PWM secondary side controllers are widely used on circuits where isolation is a requirement.

PWM Soft Switching Controllers

PWM soft switching control method insures either current or voltage is zero during switching. Near zero switching losses. Lower EMI compared with conventional hard switching.

PWM Switching Regulators

PWM switching regulators: Is also used in efficient voltage regulators. By switching voltage to the load with the appropriate duty cycle, the output will approximate a voltage at the desired level.

PWM Voltage Mode Controllers

PWM voltage mode controllers are utilized for both control and for protection functions.

Ringer Controllers

Ringer controllers are components that are utilized in the telecom industry.

USB Power Switches

USB Power SwitchesUSB power switches are frequently employed to charge electronic devices via the USB ports on a desktop computer. They often allow battery charging and the exchange of data at the same time.

Voltage References

Voltage references can supply a consistent voltage, no matter how much load is on the device. These are used in several different converters, instruments and power supplies. There are many different designs available.

Voltage Supervisors

Voltage Supervisors monitor voltages, providing information about batteries and other components on a circuit. They come in many different designs, including ones that can supervise multiple voltage levels.