This month's top product picks are all related to efficiency. These products, ranging from MOSFETs to transceivers, deliver energy, power or system efficiency, and in some cases, significant power savings across several industries. In addition, many of these devices are housed in small packages to save board space.
Let's start with Vishay's Si8851EDB TrenchFET p-channel Gen III power MOSFET. This device offers two big advantages for mobile devices. It delivers higher efficiency and saves space. The -20V power MOSFET offers an extremely low on-resistance of 8.0 mΩ and 11.0 mΩ at -4.5 V and -2.5 V gate drives, respectively in a 2.4- x 2.0- x 0.4-mm CSP MICRO FOOT package size. It's the low on-resistance that allows designers to achieve lower voltage drops in their circuits for more efficient use of power and longer battery run times.
Another power semiconductor that delivers higher energy efficiency is ST's 600-V trench-gate field-stop IGBT V series. These devices are designed to do three things: increase system energy efficiency, deliver higher switching frequencies, and simplify thermal and electromagnetic interference (EMI) design. How is it accomplished? ST said it's due to the smooth and "tail-less" turn-off characteristic, saturation voltage as low as 1.8V, and maximum operating junction temperature of 175°C. The devices eliminate the conventional IGBT turn-off current tail and use ultra-thin die to help switching performance and improve thermal dissipation.
This month's selection also includes several efficient devices aimed at motor control and drive system applications. For brushed DC motor applications, TAEC's TB9101FNG and TB9102FNG brushed DC motor drivers for in-vehicle applications are designed specifically for "small, power conscious motors." They offer a very low ON resistance to support the power requirements of small motors used in automotive electronic systems such as air-conditioner valves, door mirrors and windows.
Also used for motor applications are LAPIS' 8-bit flash microcontrollers that are designed for small single-phase DC motor control. The ML610Q101 and ML610Q102 include peripherals and functions designed to control small single-phase DC motors with greater efficiency and lower noise compared with previous solutions.
Microchip also introduced two new solutions aimed at motor control. The Microchip dsPIC33EP512GM710 family of dsPIC DSCs enable dual motor control, dual CAN communication and advanced sensor interfaces. These devices enable more efficient, less expensive designs in applications such as appliances, automotive, and industrial markets.
Aimed at motor control and drive designs, Microchip offers the MCP8024. This three-phase BLDC motor gate driver with power module includes functions that power dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSCs) and PIC microcontrollers (MCUs) with capabilities to drive six N-channel MOSFETs. This provides increased efficiency, while lowering system cost and reducing time to market. The brushless DC companion device provides all power, sensing and protection functions to implement a robust and highly efficient motor system design, said Microchip.
In the RF world, RFMD has expanded its portfolio of antenna control solutions with the RF1105 impedance tuners for smartphones and mobile devices. The RF1105 offers a broad antenna impedance tuning range to optimize efficiency in LTE and HSPA+ cellular devices. The programmable RF1105 functions as a tuner sub-system across all LTE frequency bands up to 2.7GHz, providing antenna feed matching over a wide frequency range. What this does is simplify antenna design and enable smartphone and mobile device OEMs to optimize antenna power and sensitivity and maximize battery life.
In the low-power arena, EM Microelectronic offers an ultra-low-power Bluetooth SmartController, the EM9301, powered only by harvested energy or low-voltage, zinc-air batteries to send advertising broadcasts to passing smartphones. Optimized for ultra-low-power wireless sensing, remote control and monitoring applications, the EM9301 operates on as little as 0.8V. It can be powered by a wide range of common single-cell batteries or energy harvesters such as solar cells, piezo-electric and electro-magnetic elements.
Another ultra-low-power device comes from Analog Devices (ADI).Touting the industry's lowest power digital isolators, ADI's ADuM144x family of iCoupler digital isolators are said to reduce power by a factor of 1,000 compared to optocouplers to improve energy efficiency. They can be powered by as little as 1 μW of power. An added bonus: It's housed in the industry's smallest package.
Also aimed at power savings is Exar's XR3070-78X family of ruggedized RS-485/RS-422 transceivers for harsh industrial environments. Operating from 3.3V with a 300-uA idle current, these devices consume half the power of a comparable +/-18V fault tolerant solution. In addition, the XR3070-78X provides insurance against wiring faults up to +/-18V, while protecting against ESD events exceeding IEC Level 4. These transceivers can be used in a variety of applications including energy metering, building automation, security systems, process control, and other industrial automation applications.
Always remember, the selection of monthly hot products are based on my personal opinions. Component selection should include consultation with your vendors and product datasheet reviews.