Power Electronics

Battery Management IC Provides Faster and Cooler Charging

The bq24100 from Texas Instruments is a synchronous, switch-mode battery charger IC with internal power FETs capable of supplying up to 2 A of charge current. The battery management IC enables higher charge current while reducing the amount of heat generated, making it suitable for charging one-, two- and three-cell Li-Ion or Li-Poly battery packs. Typical applications include portable DVD and media players, smart handhelds, medical, industrial and other portable equipment.

Housed in a 20-pin, 3.5-mm x 4.5-mm QFN package, the bq24100 is offered in two versions: A stand-alone model features built-in charge management and control, while a system-controlled version allows a host processor to control the battery charging profile.

The charge management IC operates at a fixed switching frequency of 1.1 MHz and accepts input voltages up to 16 V. The IC also delivers high accuracy current regulation (±10%) and voltage regulation (±1%) for precise battery charging. In addition, the bq24100 features multiple charge-status outputs and automatic battery-full charge detection and charge termination.

With its switch-mode operation, the IC can achieve high efficiency as a charger. For example, in a two-cell Li-ion application (Vbattery = 8.4 V) where the input voltage is 16 V, efficiency is 90% or higher at charging currents ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 A. These measurements reflect performance at an ambient of 25°C.

In addition to providing the required three phases of Li-ion battery charging (preconditioning, constant current and constant voltage), the chip terminates charging based on a minimum current level. A programmable charge timer is also provided as a safety backup for termination. The bq24100 automatically restarts the charge if the battery voltage falls below a specific threshold.

Available now, the bq24100 is priced at $2.10 each in lots of 1000. In addition, the company offers a bq24100 evaluation module.

For more information, visit www.ti.com.

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