16 cell reference design supports 48V micromobility

16 cell reference design supports 48V micromobility

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has launched a modular 48V micromobility reference design that combines a microcontroller with 16 cell battery monitoring system for e-scooters, e-bikes, UPS and energy storage systems.

The micromobility reference design uses a modular approach in both hardware and software to provide core and optional functional blocks that can be adopted for many 24V-48V applications such as lawn mowers, electric carts, robot cleaners, power tools, power banks, and more. It uses 15 Renesas chips, including three key devices: the ISL94216 16-cell battery front end (BFE), HIP2211 100V MOSFET drivers and RX23T 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) for motor control. The 48V design is powered from a 25 AHr Li-ion battery that drives a 1600W inverter to attain speeds up to 5000 rpm.

“Micromobility options like e-scooters and e-bikes offer an attractive, low-carbon footprint vehicle for first-mile and last-mile travel. Rising demand for these applications is driving new battery management capabilities as cell balancing plays an increasingly critical role in recharging,” said DK Singh, Director, Systems and Solutions Team at Renesas. “Our new 48V mobility winning combination solution combines Renesas’ advanced BFE, industry-leading MCUs, along with analog and power devices, and innovative motor control technology to help customers speed up the development of their high power and torque e-scooters and e-bikes.”

The 48V design includes two boards that address the higher battery cell count and power levels mobility applications require. The BFE and charger board focuses on larger, higher voltage battery packs. The motor control and inverter board features synchronized current/voltage measurements and drivers that are pulse width modulated (PWM) to actuate the motor, and monitor motor status. The algorithm with the hardware is targetted at brushless DC (BLDC) motors. Also, two optional boards are available, with a wireless charging receiver board and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE 5.0) control board.

For system control, the micromobility design uses a cost optimized, energy-efficient RX23T MCU with built-in floating point unit (FPU) and six high-performance timers specifically tooled for complex inverter control algorithms. These specific features and modular design helps engineers greatly reduce the man-hours in software/hardware development and debug. In addition, unlike other large cell count single-chip battery managers, the highly integrated ISL94216 offers several features that balance and monitor system conditions to improve battery life and safety, independent of the MCU. The winning combination solution also uses the ISL81601 60V bidirectional 4-switch synchronous buck-boost controller for ultra-fast charging. The controller’s CC/CV charger profile is implemented through the system MCU.

The ISL94216 16-cell BFE supports up to 200 mA+ external cell balancing for fast recharging and high utilization in large battery packs with hot plug tolerance up to 62V, while the BFE provides full high-side, battery protection and monitoring for 4S to 16S cell battery packs. Renesas ISL28214 op amps deliver low power consumption and input bias, and the ISL81601 maximizes charging efficiency and uses current sensing and I/O monitoring to adjust input levels. The ISL84051 multiplexer handles up to eight inputs with low RDSon connectivity and nanosecond switch times.

The motor control and inverter board includes a DC-DC converter, ISL28191 op-amp current sensors, ISL80410 LDO regulator, HIP2211 100V half-bridge MOSFET drivers and MOSFET bank and connects to the BFE and charger board

The BLE control board with RX23W MCU enables secure mobile phone connectivity via BLE for throttle control, battery status, GPS connection, and saved route history and also connects to the BFE and charger board. This MCU is specifically chosen from the same RX Family to enable monotonic software design which sends diagnostic and parametric data to mobile phone’s secure BLE channel in 1-second intervals. 

The wireless charging receiver board features two Renesas wireless receivers used in parallel to boost output as needed and also connects to the BFE and charger board.

The system block diagram, bill of materials (BOM), and data sheets are available at

The ISL94216 16-cell BFE is available now in a 64-lead QFN package, priced at $2.99 USD in 1,000-unit quantities. 

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