DALLAS -- After a couple of key acquisitions in 1999 and a steady stream of product introductions, Texas Instruments Inc. believes it has become the leading chip supplier in the $2 billion market for power management ICs. To strengthen its position, TI today introduced the first of about 150 new products planned for power management applications in 2000.
TI is adding new power management devices that contain features for system applications based on fast microprocessors and digital signal processors--especially TI's own DSP chips. Among the new products being introduced today are a new dual-output power supply controller and a series of low-dropout voltage regulators that have been tailored to for the 1.8-volt core and 3.3-volt I/O power supply requirements in TI's DSPs.
In addition, TI is rolling out a new family of 25-watt dual output power modules for DSP-based applications, such as wireless base stations, cable modems, remote access servers, digital subscriber loop systems, and multimedia products. The Excalibur plug-in power modules come from an operation in Warrenville, Ill., which was formerly Power Trends Inc. before TI acquired the company last fall (see Oct. 4, 1999, story).
Today's round of product introduction also includes a pulse width modulation (PWM) controller from TI's Unitrode operation in Merrimack, N.H., which was acquired by the Dallas-based company for $1.2 billion in stock (see July 26, 1999, story). The new Unitrode phase-shift PWM controller is based on an advanced BiCMOS technology and aimed at lowering the power consumption in high-power applications above 500 watts, such as telecom base stations and high-end computer servers.
TI's push into power management applications is a critical element in the company's overall strategy to lead worldwide sales in analog ICs. TI claimed it took the No.1 position in analog chip sales in 1997 (see story from SBN's Online Magazine), and now the Dallas company believes it grabbed the top spot in power management IC last year.
"Power management is the fastest growing segment of analog catalog products with a compound annual growth rate over 16%," said Alun Roberts, marketing director for analog products at TI. According to market researchers at Dataquest, the power management segment is expected to grow from about $2.3 billion in 1999 to $2.8 billion in 2000.
"We strongly believe that TI became No.1 in power management in 1999 with revenue growth well over 16%," Roberts said. Dataquest's ranking and its revenue numbers for 1999 are expected to be released in early April.
If TI is correct, the company would have overtaken archrival National Semiconductor Corp. in the power management segment. In 1996, TI was ranked No. 4 in power management ICs with just $110 million in revenues vs. top-ranked National, which had $269 million in sales, based on Dataquest's numbers from four years ago.
To accelerate its growth in power management, TI now aims to launch about 150 new product in 2000, compared to 125 products in 1999, said Roberts. In 1997, TI introduced only 10 power management products, he added. About 60 of those new products in 2000 will come from the acquired Unitrode and Power Trends operations.
One of TI's key targets in power management is to closely couple device features with the need of high-performance, low-voltage DSP chips. The new TPS56300 power supply controller replaces the need for two separate controllers to support the dual operating voltages of DSPs that have 1.8-V cores and 3.3-V peripherals, said Roberts.
"This device takes care of the power sequencing function--bring up the core and I/O voltages in the right sequence so there are no problems with data integrity issues," he said. "DSP voltages are continuing to decrease while speeds are increasing. In the future, there will be sub-1-volt cores, and a whole range of power management parts to address new concerns."
The new power supply controller is fabricated in 0.5-micron BiCMOS technology and available in a 28-pin thin-shrink small outline package (TSSOP). The suggested distribution price for the TPS56300 is $4.05 in 1,000-piece quantities. The 20-pin low-dropout voltage regulators and evaluation modules for the TPS56300 cost $2.47 each in similar quantities.
TI's PT6930 series of 25-W dual-output power modules are housed in a 23-pin package for either surface-mount or through-hole board assembly. It has a suggested resale price of $24.20 in quantities of 1,000.
The Unitrode phase-shift PWM controller, the UCC3895, has a suggested distribution price of $5.78-5.98 in quantities of 1,000.