Li+ fuel gauge and IC monitors and protects battery life

Maxim Integrated claims to offer the industry’s first Li+ fuel gauge IC which has continuous internal self-discharge monitoring and protection. The MAX17320 series cell Li-ion fuel gauge IC extends run-time on multi-cell battery-powered products while also monitoring against self-discharge hazards. The pack-side fuel gauge and protector IC is for two to four series Lithium-ion (Li+) cells (2S-4S). It is part of a family of ICs equipped with Maxim Integrated’s patented ModelGauge m5 EZ algorithm that delivers 40 per cent more accurate state of charge (SOC) readings than competitive offerings, eliminating the need for battery characterisation for most common Li+ cells, claims the company. This fuel gauge is also claimed to offer the industry’s lowest quiescent current (IQ), which is 85 per cent lower than the nearest competitor and features SHA-256 authentication to safeguard systems from counterfeit batteries.

For hand-held devices with 2S-4S Li+ batteries in computing, IoT, power tool, consumer, healthcare and mobile devices, ensuring customer safety is paramount. Damaged or defective batteries may develop an internal cell leakage which can get worse and can result in fire or explosion. Stringent factory screening may prevent leaky cells from getting shipped from the factory but, until now, there was no way to detect self-discharge that develops during normal usage of the battery. To address this, the MAX17320 warns the system and disables a leaky battery before a potentially hazardous outcome. This is in addition to battery protection which allows fine tuning of voltage and current thresholds based on various temperature zones. The IC also provides a secondary protection scheme that permanently disables the battery by assisting a secondary protector or blowing a fuse in severe fault conditions.

In additon to long battery life, mobile devices need to have accurate SOC information to determine the remaining run-time.The MAX17320‘s ModelGauge m5 algorithm, allows designers to enable the longest run-time and avoid premature or sudden shutdown, while delivering the most accurate SOC in the industry, says Maxim. It can run in a low power mode, enabling the system to read the SOC instantly as it wakes up without being disconnected from the battery cells during shipment or when stored on the shelf. The low IQ supports longer product shelf life.

The MAX17320 is available now and a MAX17320X2EVKIT# evaluation kit is also available.

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