Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Maxim chip halves wearables size and extends battery life

Steve Rogerson
April 21, 2020



California electronics company Maxim Integrated believes it can half the size of wearables and extend battery life by a fifth using power management technology.
 
The company has developed a single inductor, multiple output (simo) power management IC (PMIC) that replaces traditional power management architectures, reducing BoM count by up to 40 per cent for compact consumer devices.
 
Designers of these devices can now, says the company, cut product size by half and extend battery life by 20 per cent with the Max 77654 PMIC.
 
There are three outputs with just one inductor at 91 per cent efficiency, which is 16 per cent greater than traditional four-chip systems. With reduced size, designers can pack more functionality in their applications such as wearables, hearables and other compact consumer devices when compared with using traditional power products.
 
“Size and power constraints are defining next-generation IoT consumer system designs, and engineers are finding it harder to cram all the high-performance demands and capabilities into these tiny form factors,” said Kevin Anderson, senior analyst for power semiconductors at Omdia. “Maxim Integrated’s ingenious simo PMIC design offers designers flexibility to add new capabilities while also reducing size and improving battery life.”
 
As designers continue their quest to shrink form factors for compact consumer devices, they must also consider extending battery life or shrinking battery volume, as well as reducing heat dissipation and noise. This PMIC addresses space-constraint challenges for system designers by replacing three buck-boost converters and three inductors with a single converter and a single inductor.
 
It also replaces two LDO load-switches, a battery charger and additional passives, resulting in a 50 per cent smaller product.
 
The device can improve end-user experience with 20 per cent longer battery life by delivering 91 per cent efficiency.
 
With less than 500nA shutdown current and a supply current of 6µA with five regulators operating, designers can add more functions to their low-power consumer devices. The device also lowers heat dissipation and reduces system board temperature by more than 20˚C when compared with an alternative single inductor power product.
 
Additionally, it is said to provide output voltage ripple performance of less than 20mVp-p for noise sensitive rails.
 
At 19mm², it is half the size of a traditional discrete product. It consists of a simo PMIC, nine capacitors and an inductor. There are up to 40 per cent fewer components and 23 per cent lower BoM cost compared to discrete products.
 
“Maxim Integrated’s breakthrough scalable simo PMIC, Max 77654, offers the smallest form factor with the highest system efficiency,” said Karthi Gopalan, director of Maxim’s mobile business unit. “The Max 77654 simo PMIC frees up board real estate to pack value-add modules such as voice commands, payment, GPS receivers, biometrics, gesture control, 3D recognition and camera.”
 
Maxim has accelerated the production of its medical technologies to address increased need during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s semiconductor devices are used in medical equipment such as virus detection devices, ultrasounds, analytical and laboratory equipment, ventilators, patient remote monitoring devices, intravenous blood monitors, temperature loggers for critical Covid drugs, pulse oximeters, remote patient and IR thermometers, blood glucose meters for diabetics, anaesthesia machines, and disposable patches for blood pressure.