If I were a betting man, I’d wager that having to repeatedly charge a handset makes its way into virtually everyone’s list of top smartphone complaints, especially as processors continually step-up their power requirements in the pursuit of a little more performance.
Back in late March, we initially covered some new Texas Instruments chips that supposedly cut battery charging times by 50%, which was a nice start. Fortunately, it seems that the company has been tinkering around with battery circuits again, as Texas Instruments on Thursday unveiled a couple of new chips designed to improve the charging speed and life-span of single-cell Li-ion batteries.
The new technology is known as “MaxLife”, which TI is suggesting can lead to up to a 30 percent extension in battery life, certainly not something to be scoffed at. These fuel gauge circuits, model numbers BQ27530 and BQ27531, are combined with the BQ2416X and BQ2419X charging circuits, which we covered before, to monitor and optimise the battery’s charge rate whilst minimising battery degradation.
The circuits are also promising better thermal management and reduced heat generation during charging. That’s good news for our handsets and should reduce some energy wastage too. Essentially, this technology works as an on-demand battery manager, but at the hardware rather than the software level.
The chips will be available in 2.5A and 4.5A versions, and since the development kits are already available, it hopefully won’t be long until we see this technology integrated into some battery efficient gadgets and smartphones.
TI fast-charge technology gets more life out of a Li-Ion battery
New battery fuel gauge and charger chipsets with MaxLife™ technology allows consumers to charge faster without degrading the battery
DALLAS (June 6, 2013) – Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) today introduced two power management chipsets with TI’s patented new MaxLife™ fast-charge technology, which allows consumers to charge single-cell Li-Ion batteries faster and experience longer battery life. The bq27530 and bq27531 fuel gauge circuits, coupled with TI’s bq2416x and bq2419x chargers, optimize battery performance using the highest possible charge rates with minimal battery degradation. For samples and evaluation module, visit www.ti.com/maxlife-pr.
Mobile phone users are frustrated when their batteries’ charge doesn’t last as long after months of daily charging and discharging. TI’s MaxLife technology leverages an innovative degradation modeling system to minimize charge time while extending battery service life – as much as 30 percent according to lab tests. Based on TI’s popular Impedance Track™ battery capacity measurement technology, the MaxLife algorithm accurately predicts and avoids charge conditions that could degrade the battery.
Autonomous battery management
Traditional software-controlled battery management systems – whether implemented with a microcontroller, PMIC (power management integrated circuit) or digital signal processor – are limited in their ability to predict accurate battery capacity and translate that information into run time. The new bq27530 and bq24160 chipset for 2.5-A charge rates and the bq27531 and bq24192 chipset for 4.5-A charge rates give designers greater flexibility by having the gauge control the charger directly. This autonomous battery management system reduces software overhead, improves battery safety and security, provides better thermal management and allows a designer to adapt the charging algorithm to support different platforms and newer higher capacity batteries.
Development kit gets you started
A new Li-Ion fast-charge development kit is available, which features the bq27531 fuel gauge directly communicating with the bq24192 charger via an I2C interface. Input operating range for the evaluation kit is 4.2 V to10 V.
Key benefits of the MaxLife technology:
- Faster charging at up to 4.5-A rates for single-cell lithium batteries.
- Extended battery service life with minimum degradation of run-time after each discharge cycle.
- High-efficiency charging with enhanced thermal management and reduced heat generation.
- High-performance Impedance Track™ monitoring system provides the most accurate capacity estimation and precise control of charging current and termination thresholds.
TI analog for consumer electronics
TI’s broad range of power management and analog signal chain products offers design engineers the high performance, low power and integration they need to create innovative and differentiated consumer electronics. TI is engineering the future with gesture recognition, touch feedback, advanced battery charging, audio, health technology and more. Learn how TI analog products improve how we live, work and play at www.ti.com/analogconsumer-pr.
Availability and pricing
The bq27530 and bq27531 battery fuel gauges with charger control are available now in a 2-mm by 1-mm by 0.65-mm, 15-pin wafer chipscale (WCSP) package, and are priced at US$2.07 in 1,000-unit quantities. The bq24192 4.5-A battery charger comes in a 24-pin, 4-mm by 4-mm QFN package and is priced at US$2.50 in quantities of 1,000. The bq24160 dual-input 2.5-A charger comes in a 24-pin QFN package and a 2.8-mm by 2.8-mm, 49-ball WCSP package, and is priced at US$2.50 in 1,000-unit quantities.
Find out more about TI’s battery management portfolio:
- Easy-to-use MaxLife battery management development kit based on the bq27531 and bq24192.
- Review TI’s entire battery charging portfolio, including TI’s easy-to-use Battery Charger Selection tool.
- Ask questions and help solve problems in the Battery Forum in the TI E2E™ Community: www.ti.com/batteryforum-pr.
- Download TI’s Battery Management Solutions Guide: www.ti.com/bmsguide-pr.