DALLAS -- Texas Instruments Inc., following its acquisition of Unitrode Corp. and plans to buy Power Trends Inc., is preparing to introduce a battery of products intended to make it No. 1 in supply voltage switching and control.
TI will introduce six devices this week, including charge pumps and microprocessor supervisory circuits. These are a fraction of the 70 power-management products TI hopes to release by the end of 1999, said Bill Chew, strategic marketing manager.
Currently, TI is No. 2 in power management behind National Semiconductor Corp., according to statistics compiled by Dataquest Inc. Trailing them in 1998 shipments of voltage regulators, dc/dc converters and other power management ICs were, in order, Linear Technology Corp., On Semiconductor (formerly Motorola) and Maxim Integrated Products.
Even before the acquisition of Unitrode in Merrimack, N.H., TI's revenue in this area had climbed 15.7%, from $204 million in 1997 to $236 million in 1998. In contrast, National's revenue during the same period dropped from $363 million to $288 million, according to Dataquest of San Jose.
TI believes the recently completed $1.2 billion stock-for-stock Unitrode acquisition, plus a suite of new revenue generators, will push it over the top. The power-management business includes voltage regulators and switches for Pentium-based desktop PCs and servers, for battery-powered portable computers and for handheld devices like portables.
TI says it introduced the first dc/dc converters to support Intel's 64-bit Merced processor, and demonstrates manufacturing strength in low-power linear regulators and charge pumps for cell phones and PDAs.
The devices introduced include supervisory circuits and charge pumps. For example, the TPS312x is a supervisory circuit that will function on supply voltages as low as 1.08 V. New DSPs that will appear next year will function on 1.2-V supplies. The TPS312x will offer users a choice of triggers and reset options (e.g., active low or active high).
Meanwhile, the TPS6012x and TPS6013x are charge-pump dc/dc converters, with an adaptable voltage-conversion ratio that optimizes the power-conversion efficiency for a wide variety of input voltages. The 6012x (with a 1.8-to-3.6-V input and a 3.3-V output) is geared toward a two-cell battery stack, while the 6013x puts out 5 V and accommodates a three-cell stack (with a 2.7 to 5.4 V).
The TPS5102 is a multiple-output voltage regulator intended for notebook PCs. It includes 1.5-A MOSFET drivers on-chip and can supply peak system currents up to 20 A. The TPS5103 controllers are intended for low-voltage portables (like PDAs), and pulse skip mode for higher efficiency under light load conditions. It supports "awake," "standby," and "sleep" power mode states.
To increase its activities in power applications, TI announced last month it was planning to buy privately-held Power Trends of Warrenville, Ill., for $145 million in stock (see Oct. 4 story).