Turnkey PMIC boosts battery life in IoT designs

Turnkey PMIC boosts battery life in IoT designs

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

Silicon Labs has launched a turnkey power management PMIC for its low power EFR32 and EFM32 low power microcontrollers in IoT designs.

The EFP01 PMIC family provides system-level power management for battery-powered applications including IoT sensors, asset tags, smart meters, home and building automation, security, and health and wellness products. The PMIC allows developers to choose the optimal battery type and chemistries for the application while controlling a product’s power supply over multiple output rails and voltages.

Developers often use a PMIC in an IoT design to manage multiple power rails and squeeze the maximum lifetime out of the battery but this can be a complex task. Matching the PMIC to the ‘Gecko’ radio transceiver or microcontroller simplifies the product design.

“The EFP01 family provides a turnkey power management companion solution for our wireless SoC and MCU families, combined with Simplicity Studio tools, reference designs, sample applications and ‘PMIC-aware’ wireless stacks for easy development,” said Matt Saunders, vice president of IoT marketing and applications at Silicon Labs. “The EFP01 is optimized for our IoT connectivity platforms, eliminating the need to incorporate multiple vendor reference designs into a schematic or layout.”

The EFP01 PMIC supports system power management and primary cell battery Coulomb counting for EFM32 and EFR32 devices. These devices operate over a wide input voltage range (0.8 to 5.5 V) to support a range of battery chemistries with quiescent current down 150 nA. EFP01 provides three voltage output rails and four supply outputs – one for a buck/boost converter, one for a buck-only DC-DC converter and LDO, one for an LDO and one switched. These provide up to 94 percent efficiency.

The buck and boost voltage conversion as well as combined boost and buck in a boost bootstrap design supports low-voltage, high-current rails for IoT products requiring coin cell batteries and higher transmit power (up to +20 dBm). The multiple output power rails allows an entire IoT product to be powered by one low-cost PMIC, using less board real estate and simplifying software/hardware design. 

Samples and production quantities of EFP01 PMICs in a 3 mm x 3 mm QFN20 package are available now, with prices starting at $0.55 in 10,000-unit quantities.

Three development boards are available including the SLWRB4179B radio board priced at $39 and two PMIC evaluation boards each priced at $49. Simplicity Studio, available to developers at no charge, offers energy profiler and network analyzer tools, wireless stacks and reference designs.

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