SOURCE: Maxim Integrated Products

September 14, 2006 15:10 ET

Battery Fuel Gauge Enables Complete Customization of Fuel-Gauge Algorithms in Many High-Volume Applications

DALLAS, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 14, 2006 -- Dallas Semiconductor, a wholly owned subsidiary of Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ: MXIM), introduces the DS2790, a programmable 1-cell Li-ion (Li+) fuel gauge and protector. With its integrated MAXQ® microcontroller, generous program and data memory, and accurate measurement system for battery current, voltage, and temperature, the DS2790 provides an excellent platform for customizing single-cell-battery fuel-gauging algorithms.

Synopsis for Investor:
New battery fuel gauge, the DS2790, lets manufacturers customize their
fuel-gauge algorithms for single-cell battery applications such as cell
phones. Board space is reduced and production costs saved.

*  Typical applications include wireless handsets, high-end PDAs, digital
video camcorders, and digital still cameras.
*  Enables the use of sophisticated, customizable algorithms traditionally
reserved for multicelled battery packs. Before the DS2790, manufacturers
had to use chips with fixed algorithms or adopt multiple-IC solutions for
single-cell products.
*  The integrated MAXQ® microcontroller has enough memory for customizing
battery fuel-gauging algorithms. Total component count and space are thus
*  High integration saves:
       *  Board space compared to traditional approaches.
       *  Considerable development time.
       *  Overall direct product cost.
*  No competitive device has this capability and saves the space
at a comparable price.
The Costly, Traditional Multicell Battery-Pack Solution for Single-Cell Applications

Before the DS2790, battery-pack manufacturers had no good option for single-cell applications. There was no single inexpensive device with either enough memory or microcontroller-processing capability in which to embed their proprietary fuel-gauging algorithms. Manufacturers were, thus, forced to adopt an IC with fixed algorithms or a multichip solution as found in a notebook battery. Besides the DS2790, there is currently no other competitive device with this capability at a comparable price point.

Customization Made Simple and Inexpensive

At the heart of the DS2790's computing core is the low-power 16-bit MAXQ20 microcontroller with its advanced, accumulator-based (MAC), 16-bit RISC architecture. Highly efficient, its fetch and execution operations are completed in one cycle without pipelining, because the instruction contains both the operation code and data. The processing core is supported by a 16-level hardware stack, which enables fast subroutine calling and task switching. Data can be quickly and efficiently manipulated with three internal data pointers. Multiple data pointers allow more than one function to access data memory without having to save and restore data pointers each time.

To allow the user to program proprietary algorithms, the DS2790 contains three types of memory: programming memory, data EEPROM, and data RAM. The memory is arranged in a Harvard architecture, with separate address spaces for program and data memory. The 16kB of programming memory consists of 8kB of password-protected EEPROM and 8kB of ROM. The inclusion of EEPROM allows the devices to be reprogrammed, which simplifies and reduces the cost of development and field upgrades. The ROM contains routines that allow reprogramming over the I2C interface, SHA-1 authentication, and support for in-circuit debugging. The data EEPROM consists of 128 bytes, and is available for storing important data such as charge parameters, cell characteristics, and manufacturing data that should remain unaffected by severe battery depletion, accidental shorts, or ESD events. The data RAM is 512 bytes, and is used for temporary data storage.

The DS2790 also provides precise current, accumulated current, voltage, and temperature measurements. The 12-bit-plus-sign current measurements are an average of 128 individual current samples. The current measurements are internally summed to produce the accumulated current with accuracy within +/-2% of full-scale measurement, +/-4 microvolts over a range of +/-64mV. Using a 15 milliohm sense resistor, this current accuracy translates to within +/-2% of full scale, +/-267 microamps over a 4.2A range. Standby currents are measured with an accuracy of +/-195 microamps. The DS2790 measures voltage as a 10-bit-plus-sign value over a 0 to 4.75V range with a resolution of 4.8mV. An on-chip temperature sensor measures the temperature of the battery and reports the results as a 10-bit-plus-sign value with a resolution of 0.125 degrees Celsius. All measured data and any password-protected reprogramming of the EEPROM memory can be communicated to the host through the DS2790's I2C communication interface.

A single-cell protector provides even greater performance-to-cost capability. The DS2790's 1-cell Li+ protection circuitry is comprised of an autonomous state machine that provides the overvoltage, undervoltage, and over/underdischarge protection. Safety and reliability are increased because the protection function does not rely on the CPU and, therefore, does not depend on its loading to perform other functions.

Available for Immediate Design

Typical applications for the DS2790 include wireless handsets, high-end PDAs, digital video camcorders, and digital still cameras. The device is available in 28-pin TSSOP and TDFN packages with prices starting at $2.50 (1000-up, FOB USA). For more information please visit

Dallas Semiconductor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Maxim Integrated Products, a leading international supplier of quality analog and mixed-signal products for applications that require real-world signal processing. For more information, go to, call us at 408-737-7600, or write to us at 120 San Gabriel Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94086.

MAXQ is a registered trademark of Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.

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