Power Electronics

Specification Enhances Power Management Interconnect for SoCs

National Semiconductor (www.national.com) and ARM ( www.arm.com) have announced the availability of the second-generation PowerWise interface (PWI) specification, which provides enhanced power management interconnect capability to feature-rich, multi-domain system-on-chips (SoCs) in battery-powered, handheld electronic devices. As an extension of PWI 1.0, PWI 2.0 adds multi-domain capability to address emerging needs of highly integrated SOCs.

The PWI specification enables rapid deployment of advanced power management solutions in battery-powered handheld electronic devices by providing an open, industry-wide standard for the interconnect between digital SoCs and power management integrated circuits (PMICs). Since the release of the first-generation specification two years ago, the complexity of digital SoC architectures has increased significantly as more and more functionality is embedded into battery-powered devices.

"The PWI 2.0 standard enables simple two-wire implementation of advanced power management technologies such as adaptive voltage scaling and back-biasing in multi-domain architectures," said Ravindra Ambatipudi, director of Advanced Power Products, National Semiconductor. "PWI 2.0 technology enables device manufacturers to offer new processor-intensive features such as digital multimedia processing and broadcasting with improved battery life while maintaining supply-chain flexibility."

Introduced in October 2003, the PowerWise interface specification defines a two-wire serial bus connecting SoCs with PMICs. The interface is specifically defined to provide master-to-slave communication, which is optimized for control of a voltage regulation system that enables system designers to dynamically adjust the supply and back-bias voltages on digital processors.

Available now, the PWI 2.0 specification is royalty- and license-free. To adopt the specification, download and submit the agreement posted at www.pwistandard.org. National Semiconductor will launch PWI 2.0 specification-compliant external power management integrated circuits in the second half of 2006.

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