Nordic Semiconductor Multi-function PMIC Simplifies System Design

Article By : Nordic Semiconductor

Nordic’s nPM1300 PMIC simplifies system design by integrating essential functions required for BLE embedded designs.

Nordic Semiconductor is expanding its power management IC (PMIC) portfolio by releasing a third PMIC in mid-2023. The nPM1300 expands the company’s PMIC offering by adding support for both charging of larger batteries and four regulated power rails.

Optimized for efficiency, the compact nPM1300 (3.1-by-2.4mm WL-CSP or 5-by-5mm QFN) is digitally configurable through an I2C-compatible Two Wire Interface (TWI). The digital interface provides access to several system management functions that are usually implemented as discrete functions in Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) embedded designs, such as hard reset, battery fuel gauge, system-level watchdog, power loss warning, and recovery from failed boot.

“Nordic entered the PMIC market because existing power management solutions were not optimized for compact, ultra-low power IoT applications. Available PMICs leave it up to the designer to implement vital functionality using discrete components—functions that naturally belong inside a PMIC and can be implemented at almost no cost,” says Geir Kjosavik, Product Director – PMIC, Nordic Semiconductor. “So, we did just that. Nordic’s customers will be delighted to have access to on-chip functions that enhance product safety and provide additional ways of conserving battery energy.”

The nPM1300 is designed to provide highly efficient power regulation for Nordic’s nRF52 and nRF53 Series advanced wireless multiprotocol Systems-on-Chip (SoCs). The PMIC’s four regulated power rails and battery charger make it ideal for compact and advanced IoT products based on, for example, an nRF5340 SoC host and multiple peripheral functions such as sensors. Examples include advanced wearables and portable medical applications.

The nPM1300 PMIC operates from an external power supply of 4V to 5.5V and can operate from a battery voltage down to 2.4V. Two power rails are regulated by separate DC/DC buck converters that are configurable between 1V and 3.3V and up to 200mA maximum current. The other two power rails operate as load switches—switching currents of up to 100mA from external sources—but can also perform as Low Drop Out (LDO) voltage converters when powered directly by the nPM1300. When operating as LDOs, these power rail outputs are configurable between 1V and 3.3V with a maximum output current of 50mA. The unregulated input voltage is also available as an output from the nPM1300.

The nPM1300 charges single-cell Li-ion, Li-Pol, and LiFePO4 batteries with a linear charging module that supports up to 800mA charge current. The termination voltage is programmable from 3.5V to 4.45V. The battery charger features automatic thermal regulation with programmable maximum chip temperature during charging to enable simple thermal management that can be adapted to any system requirement.

The nPM1300 brings other new advanced features to Nordic’s PMIC range including: USB port detection with automatic current limits of 100mA or 500mA through standard USB or up to 1.5A through USB-C PD (Power Delivery); dynamic power path management which automatically switches to battery power if a mains power connection is removed; voltage, current and temperature monitoring for accurate fuel gauging; and ultra-low current hibernate mode with a programmable wake-up timer in addition to the other system management features already mentioned. The PMIC also features three LED drivers and five GPIOs that can be re-purposed to direct control lines to time-critical control functions as an alternative to serial commands.

The nPM1300 is available for limited sampling now, and will be available to order from Nordic’s distributors mid-2023.

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