Intelligent PMIC targets hearables and IoT

March 20, 2019 // By Nick Flaherty
Intelligent PMIC targets hearables and IoT
Atlazo in San Diego has announced and intelligent power management IC (iPMIC) for hearing aids, hearables, wearables and battery-powered sensors in the Internet of Things (IoT). The iPMIC is a key building block for low power system on chip devices that include artificial intelligence (AI).

The AZ8000 is a fully programmable power management system with integrated battery charger with 90%+ conversion efficiency in the sub-mA load current range and maintaining high regulation efficiency down to an unprecedented 1uA of load current. Atlazo’s fully integrated iPMIC AZ8000 extends battery life time by 25-50% and reduces board area by up to 40% compared to discrete power management and voltage regulators.

The chip uses a proprietary digital controller and a novel switching topology to enable record-breaking efficiency using small and reduced number of passives suitable for in-package integration. Three buck converters and one buck-boost converter maintaining flat efficiency above 90% and regulating down to 1μA of load current alongside two highly efficient LDOs.

“Atlazo AZ8000 is used as platform to build our upcoming AI System-on-ChipTM (AISoC) and Health System-on-ChipTM (HSoC) products by integrating AI, flexible bio-sensor interfaces and wireless connectivity to build industry’s most energy-efficient products” said Dr. Karim Arabi, Founder and CEO of Atlazo and a former vice presendet at Qualcomm. “Atlazo will demonstrate working silicon of iPMIC in our lab in San Diego, CA in conjunction with APEC in Anaheim."

The iPMIC supports advanced real-time power management modes for fast dynamic voltage and frequency scaling of the host CPU in the system. It also features an industry-first and proprietary spur-free operation to eliminate conducted and radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI) in the RF bands of interest. This programmable spur-free operation capability is compatible with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Cellular transceivers enabling them to be powered with Atlazo's switched mode regulators and offers improved SNR and extended battery-life. Radiated EMI is a significant issue in small form factor hearing-aid, hearable and wearable devices where there is little distance between PMIC and RF devices. 

The AZ8000 also integrates a 300mA JEITA compliant programmable charger with fault detection and 3 programmable constant current LED drivers. The device includes a programmable current sink/PWM output. A bidirectional I2C interface allows for configuring and checking the status of


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