ICs add smart control to batteries News & Analysis 2/22/1999 Post a comment "Smart battery" is a broad term, used to describe battery packs containing anything from a ROM identity chip to integrated battery-management circuits that report the battery's charge state, monitor and control charging, and supervise the operating environment of the rechargeable batteries.
Inductorless switching saves power News & Analysis 2/22/1999 Post a comment Lower operating voltages give the biggest bang for the buck when longer operating life in battery-powered devices is your goal. But those lower voltages also present power-supply designers with new challenges as they strive to wring every last watt-hour from the battery.
Supply noise plagues portable RF News & Analysis 2/22/1999 Post a comment While power-supply efficiency and battery life have always been problematic in handheld designs, powering the portable RF circuitry -one of the most compelling features of portable devices-remains especially challenging. But the presence of low-level RF circuitry makes power-supply noise a far greater concern than in earlier portable systems. Fortunately, there are a number of techniques to help power supplies accommodate RF designs-usually without adding to system cost or size.
MOSFETs minimize circuitry for Vaux News & Analysis 2/22/1999 Post a comment Every year, technology advances the capabilities of the PC. These advances can be seen either externally or functionally as display types, sound capability and operating speed. And they may be related to operating voltages or low-power modes of operation, making them somewhat invisible to the user. To maintain compliance and interoperability, designers in the PC industry must be aware of specifications such as ACPI, PS 98 and PC 98.
Two steps to 1.5-V power conversion News & Analysis 2/22/1999 Post a comment Declining microprocessor operating voltages complicate the task of CPU-core power conversion. A core power supply must exhibit fast transient response times, high efficiency and low heat generation in the vicinity of the processor. Those factors will soon force a move away from one-step power conversion (from a battery or wall adapter to the processor) to a two-step conversion, wherein the CPU-core power is obtained from the 5-V supply.
Power-hungry apps demand diverse strategies News & Analysis 2/22/1999 Post a comment It is no coincidence that this week's "Focus" on power management runs concurrently with the Penton Wireless Symposium/Portable by Design Conference in San Jose, Calif. (Feb. 22-26). Power management is one of the fastest-growing markets for analog and mixed-signal ICs. And portable appliances-especially computers and cell phones-are among the biggest consumers of power-management devices.
Graphics framework bridges systems News & Analysis 2/1/1999 Post a comment Software engineers recognize the opportunities for innovation afforded by the proliferation of advanced 3-D graphics hardware. Once used only in high-end professional systems, quality digital graphics are now available on lower-end consumer systems.