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FUEL GAUGE New Li+ fuel gauge IC features self-discharge protection

Author / Editor: Luke James / Johanna Erbacher

Maxim Integrated has announced a high-accuracy Li-ion fuel gauge and protection IC circuit that extends run-time on multi-cell battery-powered products while also monitoring against self-discharge hazards.

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The MAX17320 fuel gauge IC.
The MAX17320 fuel gauge IC.
(Source: Maxim Integrated)

The MAX17320 is a pack-side fuel gauge and protector IC for two to four series Lithium-ion (Li+) cells (2S-4S) in hand-held devices in computing, Internet of Things (IoT), power tool, consumer, healthcare, and mobile device applications. Maxim Integrated says that it’s the industry’s first to monitor self-discharge during operation while extending battery life.

The MAX17320 IC is part of a family of ICs that are equipped with Maxim’s patented ModelGauge m5 EX algorithm. The company claims that this is able to deliver 40 percent more accurate state-of-charge readings than those of their main competitors, eliminating the need for battery characterization for most common Li+ cells.

This fuel gauge IC also offers the industry’s lowest quiescent current, which is 85 percent lower than the closest competitor, and also features authentication to protect systems from counterfeit batteries.

How it works

The MAX17320 fuel gauge warns its host system of a leaky battery and disables it before a potentially hazardous situation can arise. This, claims Maxim Integrated, is in addition to the most advanced battery protection that enables the fine-tuning of voltage and current thresholds based on various temperature zones. The fuel gauge IC also provides a secondary protection scheme that permanently disables the battery by blowing a fuse under severe fault conditions.

According to Maxim Integrated, the MAX17320 fuel gauge IC can run in an ultra-low-power mode, allowing the system to read the state-of-charge instantly as it wakes up without being disconnected from the battery cells during storage or shipment.

The safest in the industry

“Maxim Integrated’s fuel gauge ICs are the industry’s safest and most accurate,” said Bakul Damle, business management director, Mobile Power Business Unit at Maxim Integrated.

Damle added that “ MAX17320 fuel gauge ICs provide additional safety by detecting internal leakage and preventing hazardous outcomes. It does this while simultaneously enhancing the user experience through the industry’s highest accuracy for 2S-4S Li+ battery-powered devices using Maxim Integrated’s ModelGauge m5 algorithm.”

“It is important to ensure consumer safety for portable Li+ devices,” said Kevin Anderson, practice leader at Omdia. “Providing multiple levels of battery protection and safeguarding from counterfeit products will help designers prove their safety claims for their brands.”

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