Edinburgh, U.K. – Wolfson Microelectronics plc is sampling what it says is the highest current monolithic power management IC (PMIC), which is aimed at portable multimedia applications, including smartbooks, tablets, e-books, media players and smartphones.
The WM8325 features four programmable DC-DC converters, including one which is capable of delivering up to 2.5A; and eleven LDO regulators, four of which are low-noise for supplying sensitive analog subsystems. Its optimized QFN package is designed to improve thermal performance and reduce parasitic components, enabling low-cost four-layer printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. The package allows large PCB tracks for all high current paths, which improves transient performance. All this in conjunction with its low thermal resistance (24oC/W), lower electrical resistance, and improved DC-DC technology, ensures that the WM8325 delivers greater than 5% improvement in efficiency (at 1A) when compared with previous generations of PMIC DC-DC converters.
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.