Semtech announced the SC802 series of Lithium-ion/Lithium-polymer battery charger ICs. The two devices feature a six-hour programmable charge timer and thermistor voltage input sensor to allow designers to program in redundant charge termination functions to protect portable products from faulty batteries. Designers can program the SC802 charger to automatically terminate charging after any length of time, up to six hours. The IC's thermistor input sensor can read voltage changes that indicate changing thermal conditions and can terminate charging when these conditions are outside programmed ranges. Like all of Semtech's battery charger ICs, the SC802 chargers automatically detect the voltage levels in a battery and will initiate either a pre-charge current for deeply discharged batteries with less than 2.8V of power, or fast-charge current for batteries with power levels higher than 2.8V. Once a battery reaches 70% of capacity, the current is reduced while the voltage remains constant until the battery is fully charged. Once charging is complete, the SC802 goes into a maintenance mode to ensure that the battery remains at full capacity while a charging adapter is connected. The SC802 features a 14V input voltage range that eliminates additional protection circuitry required by other 5V chargers in the event of faulty adapters. The circuit also provides an LDO mode that can be used to power the device directly from the power adapter when the battery is removed. The SC802 is available in an optional, lead-free 4 x 4mm footprint, 0.9mm height micro-leaded package (MLP) that is ideal for use in cell phones, smart phones, charger stations and personal digital assistants. Semtech Ltd France, 91951 Courtaboeuf, France.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.