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Freescale delivers integrated battery cell controllers

Posted: 13 Oct 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Li-ion battery  battery packs  ASIL-D  ASIL-C  automotive systems 

Freescale launched last year a 14-cell lithium-ion battery cell controller called MC33771, which provides designers with a single IC for 48V battery solutions. The ISO26262 ASIL-C compliant IC takes on automotive and industrial systems.

Just last month, Freescale added to the family the MC33772 3- to 6-cell Li-ion battery cell controller with performance and functional safety features optimised for 14V Li-ion battery packs replacing traditional automotive lead-acid batteries. This addition is also ISO26262 ASIL-C compliant, which helps protect automotive and industrial battery packs against critical fault conditions. Higher-level ASIL-D system implementations can also be realised using multiple Freescale battery cell controllers for redundancy.

I really like it when a company provides such a broad variety of solutions to designers like this family. This family of devices all support a broad array of battery chemistries, including lithium iron phosphate, lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide, lithium titanate and lithium polymer. These battery cell controllers feature advanced diagnostics and functional verification supporting ISO 26262 ASIL-C requirements within a single chip.


The MC33772 in a 14V battery application

Lead-acid automotive batteries are being replaced more often nowadays by Li-ion chemistries to reduce weight, increase reliability and boost energy efficiency for engine start-stop systems and energy recuperation technologies. Advantages of the Li-ion battery chemistry allow for cold temperature operation and cold cranking power to displace lead acid even as the starter battery. As a result, the inherent challenges of overcharge, overheating and internal short circuit are increasingly managed by electronics. To maintain safe operating conditions and ensure system-wide control of the battery, next-generation battery cell controllers like Freescale's must provide accurate, reliable battery diagnostics and high speed communication of status.

One feature I personally like about Li-ion batteries is their high temperature advantage over lead acid. I also believe, as Freescale does, that Li-ion battery prices will be coming down over time in the near future. In addition, lead acid batteries need the assistance of supercapacitors, especially in start-stop situations.

Another key feature I find important in this battery controller solution is the capability of an embedded current and voltage sensor for simultaneous battery measurement with advanced algorithms to track ageing cells.

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