SAN FRANCISCO--Texas Instruments Inc. has unveiled what it claims to be the smallest power management ICs (PMICs) for solid state drives (SSDs), hybrid drives and other Flash memory applications.
The tiny trio includes the LM10504, LM10503 and LM10506, which all boast features like power-saving deep sleep mode, built-in current limit and thermal protection, as well as power-down data protection.
The chips sport three programmable 2.25-MHz DC/DC step-down converters with a purported 95-percent peak efficiency to support core processor function, memory and I/O voltages. The offerings also include a general-purpose, 3-V, 250-mA low-dropout (LDO) regulator for host controller reference.
Each PMIC apparently works with a controller IC to regulate the incoming voltage supply, in order to maximize every watt and make the system more reliable. The small size of the SMD package (2.8-mm2-micro) also helps to save board space, the firm said.
In deep sleep mode, the core ASIC voltage is lowered and Flash is switched off. The built-in power-down data protection also makes sure the SSD controller finishes writing, even after an unexpected power failure, while the automatic internal soft-start limits in-rush current during start-up.
TI said the PMICs were already available in volume, with the LM10504 and LM10506 being offered in a 34-pin micro SMD package for $1.90 and $1.60 each respectively in 1,000-unit quantities. The LM10503 is offered in a 36-pin LLP package and costs $3.90 each for orders of 1,000-units or more.
If these devices could be incorporated on all the vampire power consuming devices in the household, lots of power could be saved. Perhaps a proximity switch feature could be added to activate LED status lights on devices (like modems) only when you wanted to check on the status (2 seconds a day). The other 99.995% of the day, the device could be dark.