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Power devices cut out external current monitors

Posted: 28 Sep 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:sequencer  monitor  power management  amplifier 

Maxim Integrated Products brings to market two new flash configurable sequencers/monitors that they claim simplify power management and help conserve power. The MAX16065 and MAX16066 devices also eliminate the need for external current-sense amplifiers to monitor current, thus reducing space and cost. Each device can be programmed for monitoring and sequencing system voltages. The MAX16065 manages up to twelve supply voltages simultaneously, while the MAX16066 manages up to eight supply voltages.

These sequencers/monitors integrate highly ±2.5 per cent accurate current monitoring and group sequencing to monitor and conserve power. They also feature an ADC and non-volatile fault registers to store and read back fault data. An easy-to-use graphical configuration tool eliminates the need for tedious, time-consuming programming of complex devices like CPLDs and microprocessors.

The MAX16065/MAX16066 provide ±1 per cent accurate voltage monitoring and sequencing for complex systems where high reliability is critical. Networking, telecom, servers, and data storage are typical applications.

They reduce costs and space by eliminating external current-sense amplifiers. Many systems require the current and voltage to be monitored continuously. Traditional sequencers/monitors used external current-sense amplifiers for the task. Those design configurations could become very complex and costly as the number of external amplifiers increased. With an integrated, dedicated current monitor, the MAX16065/MAX16066 eliminate the need for any external current-sense amplifiers. And when two inputs are configured as a differential pair, the devices can monitor both the current in the power supply rail and the voltage of the power supply rail simultaneously.

Save power by sequencing
The MAX16065/MAX16066 conserve power by using multiple group sequencing. There are many systems in the field today which require a set of functions to be enabled at all times. Lacking adequate flexibility for an application or offering limited programmability, those systems do little to manage power consumption efficiently.

To manage power consumption effectively, the devices offer a group-sequencing feature, which lets the designer customise and enable different application functions at different times. System functions can be programmed to operate while other functions are disabled. Activating selected functions at programmed intervals and turning off/disabling a secondary set of functions allows the designer to manage power intelligently. The result will be a significant savings in power consumption and a lower carbon footprint for the board.

They also increase reliability with non-volatile fault registers. When a system has a fault, an MCU may have a problem writing the status to external memory. However, the MAX16065/MAX16066 write to fault registers when a fault condition occurs and the system shuts down. The MAX16065/MAX16066 will perform a block write into non-volatile flash memory. These fault registers provide a useful, higher level of long-term system reliability.

With these fault registers, customers can either save information about a monitored input that caused the problem, or write all of the measured values into flash. Users can then read back fault conditions to help debug design. If a system or board is returned to the factory, the manufacturer will now have useful fault data to analyse and determine what caused the failure.

And a graphical configuration tool saves programming time. Most of the power-management ICs for sequencing and monitoring systems require many hours to program. That is not the case with the MAX16065/MAX16066. These devices offer an easy-to-use graphical configuration tool which will save valuable engineering time. The tool will help to quickly generate data to analyse fault data or test different configurations with an I²C or JTAG interface.

The MAX16065/MAX16066 have a wide 2.8V to 14V operating voltage range, which allows operation directly from an intermediate bus voltage. The devices are fully specified over the -40°C to +85°C extended temperature range. The MAX16065 is available in a 48-pin, 7mm x 7mm TQFN package; the MAX16066 is available in a 40-pin, 6mm x 6mm TQFN package. Samples are now available. The devices are priced at $6.05. (1000-up, FOB USA).

Get related application notes and technical articles on Power Design India.

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