Power Management ICs
What are Power Management ICs (PMICs)?
Many modern electronic devices require different voltages to power the various components within them whilst depending upon batteries as their main source of power. A power management integrated circuit allows these devices to function efficiently without quickly draining the battery. A PMIC may have multiple functions such as:
Battery management - measuring, charging and monitoring the battery or the battery pack in a device. Battery management systems (BMS) can measure the health of the battery, providing data to determine whether the battery is functioning properly or if it needs to be replaced.
Voltage Regulation – passive voltage regulation results from some property of a component on the circuit. Inactive voltage regulation, a specific action is taken when the voltage on a system drops or rises outside of a given range.
Charging functions - allow the charge in a battery to be replenished when it is exhausted. This is done by running an electrical current through the battery.
Types of Power Management ICs
- AC-DC Converters - usually plug into house current and convert the AC from the wall into DC current that is used by an electrical device. Most computer modems, routers and a great deal of other electronic equipment use these devices.
- Buck Converters - a type of DC to DC converter that outputs a lower voltage than their input voltage, also known as step down converters.
- DC-DC Controllers - manage the charge of a battery.
- DC-DC Converters - take a specific input voltage and convert it to a different output voltage. They come in designs that both increase and decrease the output voltage relative to the input voltage.
- Intelligent power switches - monitor electrical conditions in a circuit and take an active response accordingly.
- Linear voltage regulators - ensure that the voltage across any electrical system remains constant. They allow various loads to be attached to any electrical system without changing the voltage.
- MOSFET power drivers - power drivers that specifically function with a MOSFET semiconductor component.
- Motor driver ICs - power drivers that are designed to be used with electric motors. They're used in everything from large-scale industrial applications to very small motorized devices.
- Voltage References - supply a consistent voltage, no matter how much load is on the device.