Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Medical wearables can extend battery life with Maxim chip

Steve Rogerson
January 19, 2016
Designers of wearable medical, fitness and other IoT applications can improve power and battery life with a power-management chip from California-based Maxim Integrated Products.
Increasing battery life and achieving low power are common difficulties faced by engineers when developing wearable and IoT products. The MAX14720 PMIC is for non-rechargeable battery (coin cell, dual alkaline) applications where size and energy efficiency are critical.
An electronic battery seal extends shelf life by effectively disconnecting the battery prior to initial power-up. Integrating the functionality of five discrete devices – power switch, linear regulator, buck regulator, buck-boost regulator and monitor – the device reduces the bill of materials and allows for smaller form factors.
“In 2020, 190 million wearable electronic devices for fitness and health will be sold, generating $14.4bn in revenue,” said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. “System design for wearables will remain fairly straightforward, employing basic microcontroller unit-based processing, Bluetooth and Wifi communications, and accelerometer and gyro sensor chips, with display drivers, optoelectronics, USB charging interfaces, small NOR memory and power regulator chips playing major roles in many wearable designs.”
While most battery PMICs operate from 3V, the MAX14720 runs from a primary cell and operates down to 1.8V. Low quiescent current IP is critical for wearable applications because it can extend the runtime of the system significantly.
Value-added features include push button input monitoring, power-up sequencing and voltage rail monitoring
“Maxim has a strong position in the rechargeable wearables market,” said Frank Dowling, executive business manager at Maxim Integrated. “As a result, we have leveraged our expertise and IP for the non-rechargeable wearables market.”
The device is available in a 25-bump, 0.4mm pitch, 2.26 by 2.14mm wafer-level package. It is specified over the -40 to +85ËšC temperature range.
• Maxim has also introduced the MAX30102 pulse oximeter and heart rate integrated sensor module. It integrates red and infra-red LEDs to modulate LED pulses for oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate measurements.
The device operates on a single 1.8V power supply and a separate 5V power supply for the internal LEDs. It integrates internal LEDs, photo detectors, optical elements and low-noise electronics with ambient light rejection.
"Maxim is committed to providing innovative wearable solutions for customers," said Andrew Baker, executive director for healthcare products at Maxim Integrated. "Our IP and knowledge for these applications allows us to integrate multiple technologies in a tiny, low power package."
A demo of the device took place at this month’s Wearable Expo in Tokyo.