Ultra-low power PMICs target wearables

January 10, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Ultra-low power PMICs target wearables
Active-Semi has launched the first in a series of ultra-low power power management IC (PMIC) with a fully integrated charger, buck, buck/boost and boost converters, LDOs and load switches for the wearable market

The ActiveCiPS ACT81460 integrates a full solution for the wearable market with a standby quiescent current of 700nA to  prolong battery life. A JEITA compliant Active Power Path Linear Charger (APLC) integrates a 20V smart switch for protection from faulty chargers or potential high voltage from USB Power Delivery (PD) sources.

The PMIC also includes a programmable input current limit, dynamic voltage limit and other configurable charging parameters such as battery termination voltage and currents, charge rate, battery temperature sense. The fully integrated, 3.3MHz switching frequency DC-DC converters enable the use of small external components and a full range of protection features.

The ACT81460 integrates a highly efficient buck/boost converter for a variety of peripherals, such as an optical heart rate sensor, to use the full capacity of the battery to as low as 2.7V. The integrated high voltage boost converter can be used for haptics/vibrations, speaker drivers for audio, or LED backlighting.

A wide range of power channels with the DC-DC converters and a group of LDOs and load switches give system architects full flexibility and it is highly configurable that comes pre-programmed or modified via the I2C interface in the field. The low quiescent currents in each of the regulators and the battery charger results in high efficiency even with light and near zero load current conditions such as those found in typical wearable applications. 

“The ACT81460 integrates Active-Semi’s control algorithm, Active Constant On Time control (ACOT), which enables fast dynamic response to load changes while enabling the design of extremely low quiescent current regulators. With several configurable low power states, the ACT81460 gives the system architect the capability to disable functional blocks when they are not needed to extend battery life and the ability to optimize power usage under different conditions. This extends the time between battery charges,” said David Briggs, VP and General Manager of Dallas-based Power Solutions at Active-Semi.

“We understand that our customers prefer to use the same power


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