Toshiba America Electronic Component (TAEC) has unveiled a lithium-ion battery monitor chipset that could find wide application in the automotive sector.
The chipset has a streamlined design and that slashes costs. Its ability to check 16 cells per IC, cutting down on the number of components needed in the monitoring system.
The chipset is best suited for hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles.
From the Sacramento Bee:
"With increasing interest and adoption of electric cars, there is a growing need for chipsets that can improve the performance of the battery operation of these vehicles," said Deepak Mithani, director analog and imaging business unit, System LSI Group. "Our battery monitor chipset helps improve driving range and battery life and reduces battery costs, significant challenges for electric vehicles. We intend to aggressively expand into the battery monitor chipset business and continue providing solutions that support the unique requirements of hybrid and electric automobiles."
The Toshiba system detects remaining battery levels, balances charging across all cells in a battery pack, and detects unusual battery conditions, the Sacramento Bee reports.
It contains the TB9141FG 16-channel battery monitor IC and the TMPM358FDFTG automotive safety microcontroller. The IC uses a 96V mixed-signal process, which lets it oversee the 16 cells simultaneously. It can also measure battery voltage while balancing charging across cells.
It is resistant to ambient electrical noise, since it uses differential signaling in a daisy-chained link between multiple units.
The microcontroller is build around the ARM® Cortext™ M3 core.
Toshiba also intends to offer a software library to enable clients to customize options and features.
The unit comes with a backup power supply both for timer circuits and to retain data in a standby SRAM chip. The microcontroller goes into standby mode when not active, cutting down on power consumption.
The sytem, priced at $10 for the battery monitor and $12 for the microtroller, will begin sampling at the start of next year, and production will likely follow by April of 2014.