Battery run-times can be maximised with new high accuracy, low quiescent current fuel gauge

04-04-2017 | Maxim | Test & Measurement

Developers of portable devices can now easily design in the most accurate and low power host-side battery gauges with the MAX17055 ModelGauge™ m5 from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM). Traditionally, fuel gauges required extensive characterization of each battery type, used in specific applications, for attaining good performance. This meant the customer had to perform complicated battery characterization, adding weeks of time and resources to the design cycle. With the configuration of the device, battery characterization requirement is eliminated, shortening the customer’s time to market. One of the main benefits of a fuel gauge is that the system designer can use it to decide when to shut down the device when the battery gets low. If the fuel gauge overestimates the battery life, the shutdown might not happen before the voltage falls below the minimum operating point, resulting in an unexpected crash. Alternately, if the designer shuts down the system prematurely, then the run-time becomes shorter, which is highly undesirable for the user. By offering the highly accurate fuel gauge—within 1% state of charge (SOC) error for most cases—the device allows the designer to plan for a shutdown that maximizes the device run-time. The gauge draws what is claimed to be the industry’s lowest quiescent current, at just 7µA in the low power operating mode. It is available in a 1.4mm x 1.5mm WLP for space constrained applications. Unlike other gas gauges, the device does not have a minimum battery size limit, making it ideal for wearables, smartwatches, smartphones, health and fitness monitors, body cameras, portable medical devices, hearables, drones, virtual reality gear, and USB Type-C portable devices

By Craig Dyball