Batteries and Portable Power

Primary-Side Sensing Controllers target 8W and 10W Smartphone Chargers

Cambridge Semiconductor Ltd. (CamSemi) has today announced two new ‘fast start’ Primary Side Sensing (PSS) controllers to extend the target applications for the company’s latest generation C2170 family into higher powers. The new C2173 and C2174 controllers target low cost MoU-compliant, USB smartphone charger and other universal input applications typically rated at 8W and 10W respectively. These two latest CamSemi controllers offer manufacturers the combination of three significant cost and performance benefits within the same device: more efficient switching of bipolar transistors (BJT) to deliver the higher operating efficiencies required by US Department of Energy level 6 efficiency regulations and tier two of Europe’s Code of Conduct version five (effective 1 January 2016); five star (less than 30 mW) no-load power performance (NLP); and fast-start charging without needing an active start-up switch.

Both devices feature integrated output transient detection (TD) to enable manufacturers to further reduce NLP while maintaining fast transient response. In addition, the new controllers offer programmable dynamic response allowing one part to be easily configured in multiple designs by specifying one of four resistor values. This approach provides manufacturers with greater design flexibility and easier inventory management compared with competitive solutions where transient response speed, NLP and other parameters are defined at the IC level.

The new C2173 and C2174 use the company's patented BJT drive scheme, as well as a further improvement in IC power consumption enabling BJTs to be more easily used at higher powers. C2174 is also the first PSS controller to use CamSemi's patented supplementary base drive scheme to further reduce IC power dissipation and junction temperature and to enable the performance advantages of combined base and emitter switching at higher powers. Both controllers claim class-leading load transient response with passive start-up speeds well below 0.5 second, whereas competitive approaches require an additional active start-up switch to ensure fast start of charging cycles.

"CamSemi's new C2173 and C2174 controllers will significantly expand the range of smartphone charger applications we can now address and further boost our strong sales and share in this market. We are also continuing to develop this low cost, more energy-efficient approach into higher powers and as part of our strategy to target additional fast-growing segments," said David Baillie, CEO of CamSemi.

C2173 and C2174 offer the same performance benefits as existing C2170 controllers targeting lower power applications including: an increased Reverse Bias Safe Operating Area (RBSOA) margin to accommodate a wide range of low cost BJTs; 'best in class' voltage regulation of +/- 2% and current regulation of +/- 3% offering more margin for thermal design; and full featured protection. C2173 is packaged in SOT23-6, C2174 in SOP8 and samples of both controllers are available now.

Cambridge Semiconductor Ltd.
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