Li+ fuel gauge IC monitors self-discharge, extends battery life

November 18, 2020 // By Rich Pell
Li+ fuel gauge IC monitors self-discharge, extends battery life
Analog and mixed-signal chipmaker Maxim Integrated Products has announced a high-accuracy fuel-gauge and protection circuit that extends run-time on multi-cell battery-powered products while also monitoring against self-discharge hazards.

The MAX17320 is a pack-side fuel gauge and protector IC for two to four series Lithium-ion (Li+) cells (2S-4S) in hand-held devices in computing, internet of things (IoT), power tool, consumer, healthcare, and mobile device applications. It is part of a family of ICs equipped with the company's patented ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm that is claimed to deliver 40 percent more accurate state-of-charge (SOC) readings than competitive offerings, eliminating the need for battery characterization for most common Li+ cells.

The MAX17320 warns the system and disables a leaky battery before a potentially hazardous outcome. This, says the company, is in addition to the most advanced battery protection that uniquely allows fine tuning of voltage and current thresholds based on various temperature zones. The IC also provides a secondary protection scheme that permanently disables the battery by assisting a secondary protector or blowing a fuse in severe fault conditions.

The MAX17320 fuel gauge, says the company, also offers the industry's lowest quiescent current (IQ), which is 85 percent lower than the nearest competitor and features SHA-256 authentication to safeguard systems from counterfeit batteries. The MAX17320 can run in an ultra-low-power mode, enabling the system to read the SOC instantly as it wakes up without being disconnected from the battery cells during shipment or when stored on the shelf.

The device's key advantages are offered as the following:

  • Highest Protection: Ensures safe charging and discharging in 2S-4S Li+ battery applications by protecting against abnormal voltage, current and temperature conditions. Internal self-discharge detection provides systems with an early warning and cuts off potentially hazardous batteries. Delivers protection against cloning with SHA-256 authentication while providing unique or dynamic key for every battery.
  • Highest Accuracy: ModelGauge m5 algorithm delivers 40 percent better SOC accuracy than competitive offerings.
  • Lowest IQ: Supports long product shelf-life and runtime with operating IQ that is 85 percent lower than the nearest competitor.

The MAX17320 is available for $1.55 (1000-up, FOB USA). An evaluation kit - the MAX17320X2EVKIT - is available for $89.

Maxim Integrated

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