STMicroelectronics has introduced the STC3105, a new battery monitoring 'gas gauge' for handheld applications which combines the industry’s smallest footprint with measurement accuracy and miserly power consumption to increase battery runtime and lifespan in mobile phones, multimedia players, digital cameras, and other space-constrained portable gadgets.
The battery-monitor IC delivers high-precision measurement of the battery voltage and current in a 2 x 3 x 0.8 mm package, making it the smallest-in-class device in the market, the company claimed. It uses open-circuit voltage and coulomb-counter methods to estimate the battery capacity and to supervise and track charge/discharge status. Accurate predictions of the battery state of charge and time-to-empty help avoid unnecessary re-charging, extend operating time between charges, and lengthen the battery lifespan in portable applications.
The STC3105 has low supply-current requirements - 60 µA typical – which extends battery runtime and lifespa while the power-saving mode reduces current consumption in the IC and enables low standby-power levels in the final application.
Integrating a programmable alarm output, the STC3105 can alert the system when the battery state of charge is below a certain level. Such embedded intelligence helps initiate appropriate power-management actions when the battery is nearly empty without involving the system microcontroller, enabling the microcontroller to spend longer times in a sleep mode, decreasing the overall power consumption.
The STC3105 stand-alone battery-monitoring IC, with alarm output, is available in volumes, with unit pricing at $1.00 in quantities of 1,000 pieces.