Improved smaller-dimension circuit-protection devices have been introduced by STMicroelectronics to enable safer use of universal chargers with the aim of reducing the number of battery chargers discarded along with obsolete portable devices such as cellphone handsets, GPS receivers, and personal media players.
More than one billion cellphone handsets are expected to be shipped in 2010 and initiatives such as the Chinese government's requirement for mobile devices to provide a USB port for charging have been formulated to reduce the environmental burden of many millions of battery chargers. Dedicated chargers typically become useless when the accompanying portable devices reach end of life. At best they may be sent for recycling, but most often they may be disposed of incorrectly or simply kept in a drawer performing no useful function. In any case, demand for a new charger with every new portable device effectively increases the environmental impact of the global consumer-electronics industry.
Pressure to use universal chargers aims to reduce this burden, but designers of portable devices must improve internal protection against the risks presented by chargers of unknown quality. ST's new ESDA8V2-1MX2 absorbs mains-borne surges containing up to 500 W peak pulse energy, a level of protection which is 30 percent higher than the current most popular surge protector.
The ESDA8V2-1MX2 has 55 percent smaller footprint, measuring just 1.0 x 1.45 mm, thereby realizing space savings for designers to implement extra functions or to further miniaturize the end product. The protection device also has a thinner profile of 0.55 mm, compared to 0.7 mm or 1.0 mm for typical alternative devices. Another benefit is a 50 percent reduction in leakage current, which reduces drain on the battery for improved performance and longer recharge intervals.
Available and Pricing
The ESDA8V2-1MX2 is available immediately in sample quantities or for full production, priced at $0.11 for 10,000 pieces.