Maxim Integrated Announces Industry’s First Li+ Fuel Gauge IC

MAX17320 2 to 4 series cell Li-ion fuel gauge IC is industry’s first to monitor self-discharge during operation while extending battery life with highest accuracy and lowest quiescent current

The new MAX17320 high-accuracy fuel-gauge and protection circuit from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. extends run-time on multi-cell battery-powered products while also monitoring against self-discharge hazards. The MAX17320 is a pack-side fuel gauge and protector IC for 2 to 4 series Lithium-ion (Li+) cells (2S-4S) and is part of a family of ICs equipped with Maxim Integrated’s patented ModelGauge™ m5 EZ algorithm that delivers 40 percent more accurate state-of-charge (SOC) readings than competitive offerings, eliminating the need for battery characterization for most common Li+ cells. This fuel gauge also offers the industry’s lowest quiescent current (IQ), which is 85 percent 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 the computing, internet of things (IoT), power tool, consumer, healthcare and mobile device categories, ensuring customer safety is top of mind for designers. Damaged or defective batteries may develop an internal cell leakage which can progressively get worse and can result in dangerous outcomes, including fire or explosion. This can endanger consumers and tarnish brand value for manufacturers. Stringent factory screening may prevent leaky cells from getting shipped out of the factory. However, until now there were no solutions for detecting self-discharge that develops during normal usage of the battery. The MAX17320 warns the system and disables a leaky battery before a potentially hazardous outcome. This is in addition to the most advanced battery protection that uniquely 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.

As with any mobile device, manufacturers aim to deliver products that have longer battery life than the competition. Devices also need to have accurate SOC information to determine the remaining run-time. As part of a family of ICs with ModelGauge m5 algorithm, the MAX17320 allows designers to enable the longest run-time and avoid premature or sudden shutdown, while delivering the most accurate SOC in the industry. The MAX17320 can run in an ultra-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. With the lowest IQ in the industry at 85 percent lower than the leading competitor, the MAX17320 supports longer product shelf life. 

Key Advantages

  • Highest Protection: Ensures safe charging and discharging in 2S-4S Li+ battery applications by protecting against abnormal voltage, current and temperature conditions. Internal self-discharge detection provides systems with an early warning and cuts off potentially hazardous batteries. Delivers protection against cloning with SHA-256 authentication while providing unique or dynamic key for every battery.
  • Highest Accuracy: ModelGauge m5 algorithm delivers 40 percent better SOC accuracy than competitive offerings.
  • Lowest IQ:Supports long product shelf-life and runtime with operating IQ that is 85 percent lower than the nearest competitor.

Commentary

  • “It is important to ensure consumer safety for portable Li+ devices,” said Kevin Anderson, practice leader at Omdia. “Providing multiple levels of battery protection and safeguarding from counterfeit products will help designers prove their safety claims for their brands.”
  • “Maxim Integrated’s fuel gauge ICs are the industry’s safest and most accurate,” said Bakul Damle, business management director, Mobile Power Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “The MAX17320 ICs provide additional safety by detecting internal leakage and preventing potentially hazardous outcomes, while enhancing user experience through the industry’s highest accuracy for 2S-4S Li+ battery powered devices using Maxim Integrated’s ModelGauge m5 algorithm.”

Availability and Pricing

  • The MAX17320 is available at Maxim’s website for $55 (1000-up, FOB USA); also available from authorized distributors
  • TheMAX17320X2EVKIT# evaluation kit is available for $89

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Learn more at https://www.maximintegrated.com.

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