Sanket B, Director of Sales & Field Applications – India, ASEAN countries, Australia & New Zealand, Maxim Integrated shared his perspectives on the ongoing changes in the power management sector and How Maxim is tailoring its products to the next need of the connected market. Edited Nub.
- How critical is it for design engineers to develop products complementing less power dissipation and high-efficiency?
With dramatic advances in sensing, connectivity, and cloud computing, miniaturization is the next frontier that enables emerging trends such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Next-generation system designs from industrial internet of things (IIoT) sensors, defense electronics, and network infrastructure equipment to medical and consumer devices need to collect, synthesize, and act upon data. This new intelligence requires more power in ever-reducing space without impacting thermal budget, making conventional solutions unviable and complicated. Aside from low power and high efficiency, small size is also important. Maxim recently announced its Himalaya uSLIC™ solution, the industry’s smallest power modules which revolutionize design for highly space-constrained applications. The MAXM17532 and MAXM15462 are part of Maxim’s extensive portfolio of Himalaya power solutions which deliver 2.25x smaller solution size and simplified design. They also provide a peak efficiency of 90% and higher in smallest form factor (less than 15mm2 solution size) with superior thermal performance.
In wearable health and fitness applications, for example, there’s an increased demand for accurate, small, and low-power wearable devices. The MAX86140 and MAX86141 optical pulse oximeter/heart rate sensors by Maxim require less than half the power and is approximately one third smaller compared to competing solutions. By collecting beat to beat data about the heart, these solutions collect accurate data so users can recognize important symptoms when they first begin.
- What are the imperative market dynamics and their latest trends, coupled with pertinent market segments seen for the power management technology?
- Power density. Power delivered per area is a key metric for high power data centers, medium power industrial applications, as well as low power portable devices. We continue to push this in both directions through advanced process, packaging technologies, design, and system architecture.
- A push to smaller size. Examples include consumer electronics reducing to micro-sizes and becoming wearables, or industrial automation where one robot is replaced by multiple ones in the same space to enable parallel processing. This puts pressure on allowable thermal and power dissipation in ever-shrinking equipment sizes.
- Perform more intelligent processing at the edge. Increase in throughput is key to industrial, data center, consumer, and even automotive sensors. To enable this, low power processing is key.
- For wearables, we are looking for higher integration and extending battery life through maximizing the efficiency and reducing the quiescent current.
- Reduce operating expenses and carbon footprint. With more and more intelligent electronics deployed in factories, cars, and power grid to improve energy efficiency, power management opens the door to reducing operational expenditures and even boost performance per watt.
- How strong is your company’s focus on power management technologies?
Power electronics touches nearly every group within Maxim. The company has a strong focus on power for multiple applications, including automotive, industrial, healthcare, mobile, communications, and data center.
Maxim is a leading supplier of integrated circuits for power and battery management applications. We offer a wide range of power conversion and control ICs, and our battery management products provide charging and monitoring functions. Maxim’s products are designed to meet the needs of various applications in several markets such as industrial, communications, automotive, consumer, and medical.
- What are the key trends expected to furnish the power management sector in 2018?
The Green/Conservation Movement is happening all over the world. Minimizing energy consumption and maximizing efficiency are becoming vital goals for many semiconductor suppliers.
Wearables and IoT products are two examples of the types of products in high demand, however, power management is a common theme in many other types of products as well. IoT is simply adding more intelligence and network capability to several applications. There continues to be a push for smaller size, more intelligence, and higher efficiency across all markets.
For automotive, power management integrated circuit (PMIC) demand is mostly being driven by overall rising electronic content, but it helps to have increasing car sales also. Also, electric cars and hybrids are having a positive effect on PMIC demand.
For big data and cloud computing, there’s an ongoing revolution in data centers—more and more enterprise servers are moving to the cloud. This is driving new system architectures and business models, and an increased demand for PMICs across cloud computing and big data applications.
For wearables, health monitoring, mobile, and internet of things (IoT), designers are struggling to extend battery life for next-generation products, particularly with increasing functionality and performance in smaller form factors. This trend plays well to Maxim’s strength in integration.
- Any product news can be shared on the very subject?
Maxim is empowering design innovation for its automotive, industrial, healthcare, mobile consumer, and cloud data center customers to deliver industry-leading solutions that help change the world. One example of a recent announcement which showcases how we empower design innovation is through Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC solution, the industry’s smallest power modules which revolutionize design for highly space-constrained applications.
Designers working on space-constrained applications can now dramatically reduce solution size and increase efficiency with the family of micro system-level IC (“uSLIC”) modules from Maxim Integrated. The MAXM17532 and MAXM15462 ultra-small (2.6mm x 3.0mm x 1.5mm), integrated DC-DC power modules are part of Maxim’s extensive portfolio of Himalaya power solutions that enable industrial, healthcare, communications, and consumer markets. With these modules, customers get the full benefits of industry-best switching regulators with the size and simplicity of a linear regulator (LDO).
Maxim’s uSLIC power modules shrink the solution size of the power supply by 2.25x with an ultra-small package size. This is achieved by integrating a synchronous wide-input Himalaya buck regulator with built-in FETs, compensation, and other functions with an integrated inductor. The combination of these components enables the designer to use the modules in small space-constrained systems while complying with mechanical and EMI standards. In addition, engineers simplify designs as they no longer need to deal with conventional bulky, power hungry regulators. Instead, they can integrate the ready-made power module into almost the same space of a tiny LDO. In such a small size, designers can achieve high efficiency and lower noise with increased stability. The uSLIC DC-DC buck regulator modules, which operate over a wide input range as low as 4V to as high as 42V, support multiple applications across nominal input voltages of 5V, 12V, 24V, and 36V with reliable headroom for today’s demanding applications. They operate over the -40-degree Celsius to +125-degree Celsius temperature range.