Maxim battery fuel-gauge ICs maximise run-time for mobile devices

28 August 2018

Credit: Maxim Integrated`
Credit: Maxim Integrated`

The MAX17262 and MAX17263 ICs mean that designers of Li-ion battery-powered devices can now improve the end-ser experience by extending run-time and ultimately delivering industry’s most accurate battery state-of-charge data.

From Maxim Integrated, the MAX17262 features just 5.2µA quiescent current, the lowest level in its class, along with integrated current sensing. The MAX17263 features just 8.2µA quiescent current and drives 3-to-12 LEDs to indicate battery or system status (useful in rugged applications that do not feature a display).

Designers of electronic products powered by small Li-ion batteries struggle to extend device run-times to meet user expectations. Of course, factors such as cycling, aging and temperature can degrade Li-ion battery performance over time. Inaccurate state-of-charge (SOC) data from an unreliable fuel gauge forces the designer to increase the battery size or compromise the run-time by prematurely shutting the system down (even if there is usable energy available).

Acting on such inaccuracies can naturally contribute to a poor user experience, especially when designers are already under pressure to move their products to market quickly. Maxim’s two new fuel-gauge ICs help designers meet end-user performance expectations and time-to-market challenges.

The MAX17262 and MAX17263 combine traditional coulomb counting with the novel ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm for high-accuracy battery SOC without requiring battery characterisation. With their low quiescent current, both fuel-gauge ICs minimise current consumption during long periods of device standby time  and this extends battery life in the process.

Both fuel gauge ICs also have a dynamic power feature that enables the highest possible system performance without draining the battery. In the MAX17262, an integrated RSENSE current resistor eliminates the need to use a larger discrete part, simplifying and reducing the board design. And in the MAX17263, the integrated, pushbutton LED controller further minimises battery drain and prevents the microcontroller from having to manage this function.

Key advantages

- High accuracy – The ICs provide accurate time-to-empty, time-to-full, SOC (1 percent) and mAhr data across a wide range of load conditions and temperatures, using the proven ModelGauge m5 algorithm

- Fast time-to-market – The ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm eliminates the time-consuming battery-characterization and calibration process

- Extended run-time – Quiescent current of just 5.2µA for the MAX17262 and 15/8.2µA for MAX17263 extends run-time

- Integration – Internal current-sense resistor (voltage and coulomb counting hybrid) in MAX17262 reduces overall footprint and BOM cost, and eases board layout. It measures up to 3.1A and is suitable for batteries of 100mAhr to 6Ahr capacity. For applications that use higher currents or battery capacity outside this range, the MAX17263, or the MAX17260 released recently, can be used with an external current sense resistor of any size

- Small size – At 1.5mm × 1.5mm IC size, the MAX17262 implementation is 30 percent smaller in size compared to that of a discrete sense resistor with an alternate fuel gauge: at 3mm × 3mm, MAX17263 is the smallest in its class for lithium-ion-powered devices

- LED support – The single-/multi-cell MAX17263 also drives LEDs to indicate battery status on a pushbutton press or system status on system microcontroller commands

Product reception

To quote Raghu Raj Singh, lead semiconductor equipment analyst for Technavio; and Bakul Damle, director of business management, Mobile Solutions at Maxim Integrated respectively:

“In a push to make their products more user friendly, consumer IoT device manufacturers look for solutions that are highly integrated to reduce design size… Maxim’s fuel-gauge ICs are ideally suited to address both needs.”

“With these industry-leading ICs, Maxim solves many of the conflicting and difficult battery management challenges faced by designers of portable products. Maxim fuel-gauge ICs empower design innovation that leads to longer run-times for mobile and portable devices – through industry-leading features and functionality.”

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