High-integration power management ICs targets portable computing devices

April 21, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Intersil’s ISL9590x PMIC solutions shrink board space by 75% relative to discrete-device designs, and enable the first credit card-size motherboards in tablet and similar format products.

This pair of highly integrated power management ICs (PMICs) enable the industry’s first credit card-size motherboards for high-end ultrabook and tablet computers powered by 2-cell Li-ion batteries, Intersil claims. The single-chip ISL95908 PMIC delivers eight voltage rails optimised to support subsystem peripheral power requirements for new Intel IMVP8 platforms, and the single-chip ISL95906 provides eight power rails for VR12.6-compliant systems. The devices measure 5.5 x 5.5 mm, enabling PC motherboards that are 75% smaller than previously possible using discrete switchers, inductors and capacitors.

The ISL9590x PMICs address the trend toward slimmer ultrabooks, tablets and 2-in-1 computers that offer more features and longer battery life. Both PMICs integrate a controller, power and driver MOSFETS, VTT LDO regulator, independent enable and power-good indicators, I²C interfaces, and fault protection/monitoring for eight synchronous buck regulators. They deliver 90% efficiency and integrate twice the functionality of the nearest competitor, allowing designers to use fewer external components, including smaller, low-profile inductors and capacitors. Mobile computing OEMs only need three devices – PMIC, core voltage regulator and battery charger – to power up the CPU/GPU, battery, and subsystem peripherals: flash memory, USB, HDMI, audio, sensors, camera module and WiFi.

The ISL9590x are, Intersil adds, the only single-chip solutions that support the Intel and Microsoft Connected Standby standard, which provides an instant-on, always-connected experience similar to smartphones. The Connected Standby low-power mode maintains Internet connectivity, email and applications while the system is asleep. Both PMICs employ Intersil’s R4 modulation technology, which delivers high light-load efficiency, ultra-fast transient response, and seamless continuous-conduction mode (CCM) and discontinuous-conduction mode (DCM) transitions.

Intersil says its power offering is part of designs for ultrabooks with 360-degree hinges that for the first time allow users to rotate a touchscreen full circle to conceal the keyboard and use the system like a tablet. Manufacturers also have more space to add another Li-ion battery to further extend battery life.

The ISL95908 and the ISL95906 are available in 5.5 x 5.5 mm, 121-bump WLCSP packages; both cost $7 (3000).

Intersil; www.intersil.com/products/isl95908 / www.intersil.com/products/isl95906

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