STMicroelectronics, a supplier of both microcontrollers and power-management semiconductors, announces its membership in the Power Management Bus (PMBus) Implementers Forum as a 'PMBus Adopter.' The PMBus protocol is a collaboration among key players in the industry to establish an open communications standard " operating over the industry-standard SMBus interface that facilitates programming, digital control, and real-time monitoring of power conversion systems without the need to burden the host system with multiple protocols.
As a PMBus Adopter, ST is now able to offer designers compliant devices for new systems. Already the company has a broad family of MCUs that are ideal for power-system control, and ST ships PWM (Pulse-width Modulation) controllers for Point-of-Load (POL) applications in high volumes. New PWM controllers based on the PMBus protocol are firmly established on the product roadmap, with formal announcements expected in Q2 2007.
"ST is a major broad-line supplier of discrete devices, PWM controllers, MCUs, and linear ICs to manufacturers of power-conversion products," said Pietro Menniti, General Manager of ST's Industrial and Power Conversion Division. "New devices based on the PMBus protocol, which we will be announcing shortly, will expand ST's presence in this market. With our broad portfolio of semiconductor production processes, we are well positioned to offer value-added products based on the PMBus standard."
The need for a standard protocol for power communication has arisen with the growth of digitally controlled power subsystems. The I2C-based SMBus (System Management Bus) has been used for several years to manage batteries, chargers, and backlight systems, and has been considered an ideal basis for the PMBus. The PMBus uses SMBus as its physical communication layer and includes support for the SMBus Alert as well as an optional Control line. Version 1.0 of the PMBus specification was published in March 2005.
More information on the PMBus Implementers Forum is available at pmbus.org
Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
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