Battery fuel-gauge ICs maximise run time for portables

Extending the run time of Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery-powered mobile and portable devices such as wearables, electric bicycles, power tools and internet of things (IoT) products, the MAX17262 single-cell and MAX17263 single-/multi-cell fuel-gauge ICs are claimed to deliver the most accurate battery state-of-charge data in the industry, according to Maxim Integrated Products.

The MAX17262 has just 5.2 microA quiescent current, claimed to be the lowest level in its class, and integrated current sensing. The MAX17263 features just 8.2 microA quiescent current and drives three to 12 LEDs to indicate battery or system status. This can be useful in rugged applications that do not feature a display.

Factors such as cycling, ageing and temperature can degrade Li-Ion battery performance over time. Inaccurate state-of-charge data from an unreliable fuel gauge forces a designer to increase the battery size or compromise the run time by prematurely shutting the system down, even if there is usable energy available. Such inaccuracies can contribute to a poor user experience due to abrupt shutdown or an increase in device charging frequency. Maxim believes the 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 ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm for high-accuracy battery state-of-charge without requiring battery characterisation. It eliminates the time-consuming battery-characterization and calibration process to speed time-to-market, notes Maxim.

The low quiescent current ensures both fuel-gauge ICs minimise current consumption during long periods of device standby time, extending battery life in the process. Both 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. In the MAX17263, the integrated, pushbutton LED controller further minimises battery drain so that the microcontroller does not have to manage this function.

The MAX17262 is offered in a 1.5 x 1.5mm IC, claimed to be 30 per cent smaller than using a discrete sense resistor with an alternate fuel gauge. The 3.0 x 3.0mm MAX17263 is claimed to be the smallest in its class for Lithium-Ion-powered devices.

Evaluation kits, the MAX17262XEVKIT and MAX17263GEVKIT are also available.

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