Nordic launches its first power management IC

Beefing up its portfolio of products for space-constrained applications, Nordic Semiconductor has launched its first power management IC (PMIC). The nPM1100 PMIC combines a USB compatible input regulator with overvoltage protection,  a 400 mA battery charger and 150 mA DC/DC step-down (buck) voltage regulator in a 2.075 × 2.075-mm wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP).

The power management IC solution takes up as little as 23 mm2 of PCB area, including passive components (rising to 27 mm2 when optimized for performance), which is less than comparable competitive products, said Nordic.

Nordic launches its first power management ICWhen used in conjunction with Nordic’s nRF52 and nRF53 Series multiprotocol system-on-chips (SoCs) the PMIC maximizes the application battery life. (Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth Low Energy SoC was a 2018 Product of the Year award winner.) It also can be used as a generic PMIC for any application using rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) or lithium-polymer (Li-polymer) batteries. The small package size makes it suited for wearables, connected medical devices, and other space-constrained applications.

“Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) applications based on nRF52 and nRF53 Series SoCs and using rechargeable Li-ion/Li-polymer batteries can take advantage of the nPM1100’s battery charger to bypass the first regulator stage of the SoCs,” said Nordic. “In addition, when used in this configuration the high efficiency of the nPM1100’s buck regulator reduces overall system power consumption, while its 150 mA current capability increases the current available for other system components from approximately 10 mA to 100 mA.”

The nPM1100 also features an ultra-low quiescent current (IQ) of 700 nA (typ.), which can be reduced to 470 nA in “ship mode.” Ship mode also disables the power output, which eliminates the need for an external power switch and ensures minimum battery lifetime impact on products in transit, said Nordic. The operating temperature range is -40˚C to 85˚C.

The nPM1100 input regulator draws its power from either a 4.1 V to 6.6 V USB input or from a 2.3 V to 4.35 V connected battery input, and it can supply a 3.0 V to 5.5 V unregulated voltage to the application at up to 500 mA output current. The PMIC supports USB Standard Downstream Port (SDP), Charging Downstream Port (CDP) and Dedicated Charger Port (DCP) detection. The input regulator includes overvoltage protection for transient voltage spikes up to 20 V.

The PMIC’s JEITA-compliant battery charger charges the Li-ion/Li-polymer battery with a Resistor-selectable charge current from 20 mA to 400 mA and a selectable termination voltage of 4.1 V or 4.2 V. The charger includes battery thermal protection and automatic selection from three charging modes: Automatic trickle, constant current, and constant voltage. The charger also features a discharge current limitation.

The nPM1100 device’s DC/DC buck voltage regulator runs at more than 90 percent efficiency down to below 100 µA load current. It takes its power from the input system regulator and provides up to 150 mA current at a selectable 1.8, 2.0, 2.7 or 3.0-V regulated output voltage, said Nordic.

The regulator features soft startup and automatic transition between hysteretic and pulse width modulation (PWM) modes. It also supports a forced PWM mode to ensure the cleanest power operation possible, said the company.

The nPM1100 is available in volume production and samples are available now. For more information about the new PMIC, Nordic is hosting a webinar on June 9, 2021.

Nordic also offers an evaluation kit to test the nPM1100 PMIC’s capabilities with existing applications without the need for creating custom hardware. The kit includes switches for all selectable settings, buttons to enter and exit ship mode, connectors for batteries, USB, and headers for all pins on the PMIC.

Nordic launches its first power management IC

Nordic nPM100 evaluation kit (Image: Nordic Semiconductor)

The eval kit can be powered by USB via the on-board micro-USB port, from an external DC power supply through header pins or from battery power via the battery connectors on one of the headers. It is designed for use with other Nordic Development Kits or to test out the PMIC’s functionality with non-Nordic products.

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