Mobile Power Suppliers Focus on Efficiency

Three power suppliers recently unveiled plans to provide better power management capabilities for field force workers and other wireless users.

Diodes, Westlake Village, Calif., a semiconductor component manufacturer and supplier, introduced a new Schottky rectifier, the BAT750, for use in a variety of handheld devices.

Schottky rectifiers incorporate metal-to-silicon connections that consume less power than the traditional silicon-to-silicon connections in other rectifiers, according to Matt Covert, a Diodes applications engineer. The surface-mounted Schottky rectifier also enables wireless device manufacturers to use smaller, lighter-weight designs, another important factor for field force users, Covert says.

PowerSmart of Shelton, Conn. recently formed a strategic alliance with Intersil in Irvine, Calif., for the development of power management solutions that extend battery life in mobile appliances by monitoring power usage, consumption and other battery information, says J. Norm Allen, PowerSmart president and CEO. The companies will engage in the joint development of integrated circuits, firmware and software for smart battery power management applications with help from Intersil's $5 million strategic investment in PowerSmart.

"As more devices start adding more applications, including Internet access, there's more need for better power management," says Allen, whose company makes smart batteries, chargers and modules for handheld devices and laptops.

PowerSmart's smart batteries run as much as 30 percent longer than traditional batteries because they do not run hot, and its chargers provide full rather than partial charges, the company said.

"The tremendous growth in wireless connectivity is driving the need for energy-efficient portable devices," adds Rick Furtney, vice president and general manager of Intersil's power management business, which provides products for laptops, desktops and other computer equipment.

Intersil and PowerSmart will continue to launch and sell their complementary systems independently, while working together to provide comprehensive power management capabilities, Allen adds.

In May, Intersil unveiled a 3V to 5.5V device specifically designed as an extremely low-power, high-speed dual serial data transceiver. The dual transceiver integrated circuit is the latest addition to the growing number of serial data transceivers from Intersil's communications analog business unit. This new dual transceiver is fully compatible with all 3V to 5.5V applications and provides low operational power consumption and low standby power.

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