LONDON Zetex plc (Oldham, England) is developing a range of compiled power-management circuits, including a low drop-out (LDO) regulator and switched capacitor converter, targeted at portable and battery-operated equipment.
"We describe this as system-on-a-chip technology for power management," said David Brotton, product line manager at Zetex, an analog semiconductor specialist. "By combining two or more functional blocks in one chip, we can offer a low-cost compact device and reduce component count."
Zetex, which operates a bipolar silicon wafer fab, is initially developing the blocks as separate products in a common process technology. The common process will allow the blocks including the LDO, the converter, and a supply voltage monitor to be combined monolithically.
"A development of the compiled power-management concept might be to combine several LDOs in one device," said Brotton. "Depending on system architecture there are significant space savings to be made, especially if you consider that some mobile phones contain four or more LDOs."
The supply voltage monitor is available now, and the LDO is due to be available in the second quarter.