Microchip Technology Introduces World’s First Fan Managers with Thermistor Input, Two-Wire Based Fan-Speed Control and Fan-Fault Prediction

7/3/2002 - Bolstering the industry’s most comprehensive fan manager product line, Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announced the expansion of the TC6xx family, with the industry’s first single and dual SMBusTM fan speed controllers featuring fan-fault and over-temperature detection, ideal for next-generation fan-speed control and fan monitoring applications.

Referred to as the TC654, TC655, TC664 and TC665, these fan managers adjust fan speed according to temperature instead of continuously running a system’s fan at maximum speed. The necessary fan speed can be programmed either by the output of a remote thermistor or by SMBus communication based commands. This dual operation enables increased design flexibility and system redundancy.

The TC6xx family detects fan wear-out before the fan stops rotating by reading rotations-per-minute (RPM) data from up to two individual fans. Integrating FanSense™ technology, the devices also enable designers to use 2-wire fans, therefore eliminating the need to purchase more expensive 3-wire fans. The FanSense technology is Microchip’s patented design implementation of sensing when a fan pulse is present, thus detecting fan-fault condition and protecting against fan failure while aiding in system testing.

The family of devices offers complete thermal protection in a variety of temperature-sensitive electronics, freeing system processors from fan control duties and therefore saving costs and maximizing system efficiency and reliability.

“With the ability to read RPM data and detect when a fan wears out, the TC6xx family enables designers to replace fans prior to malfunction, therefore eliminating thermal issues that can impact a system’s performance and reliability,” said George Paparrizos, product marketing manager for the Analog and Interface Product Division at Microchip. “The introduction of these devices demonstrates that Microchip is committed to delivering proprietary products and technology to the electronics industry at large - innovative solutions that solve our customer’s design challenges.”

The TC6xx family utilizes an external power device, enabling design flexibility and allowing the devices to drive 5-, 12-, 24- and 48-volt fans rated up to 1 amp. Unlike linear regulation, the efficient pulse-width modulation (PWM) fan-drive leads to low-power dissipation. The duty-cycle level for fan-speed control and the RPM threshold for fan-fault detection are programmable via the SMBus interface, which allows implementation of fan-fault prediction and the optimization of fan-speed, subsequently cooling a system in a variety of configurations. The ability to adjust speed according to temperature instead of running the fan at maximum speed all the time also reduces acoustic noise and extends fan life. System manufacturers can utilize these advantages as a marketing tool for end customers, especially in business and home environments where low noise levels and high reliability are very important.

The TC654/5 are able to monitor two fans simultaneously, making them ideal for multi-fan systems, whereas the TC664/5 are targeted at single-fan applications. The TC655 and TC665 devices also assert an over-temperature signal to indicate any possible over-heating conditions, therefore eliminating the need for an additional temperature-detection integrated circuit (IC).

Offered in 10-pin MSOP packages, the devices have an operating voltage range of 3.0 volts to 5.5 volts and a temperature range of –40 to +85 degrees Celsius. Pricing in 1,000-unit quantities is $1.70 each for the TC654, $1.79 each for the TC655, $1.51 each for the TC664 and $1.59 each for the TC665. Samples are available today with volume quantities available in the third quarter this year. For more information, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip has integrated analog technology, peripherals and features to meet today's demanding design requirements. Our broad spectrum of analog products addresses thermal management, power management, mixed-signal, linear and interface solutions. Combined with “Intelligent Analog” microcontrollers, Microchip offers an extensive analog portfolio for thousands of high-performance design applications in the automotive, communications (wireless), consumer, computing and industrial control markets.

Microchip Technology Inc. manufactures the popular PICmicro® field-programmable RISC microcontrollers, which serve 8- and 16-bit embedded control applications, and a broad spectrum of high performance linear and mixed-signal, power management and thermal management devices. The Company also offers complementary microperipheral products including interface devices; microID® RFID devices; serial EEPROMs; and the patented KEELOQ® security devices. This synergistic product portfolio targets thousands of applications and a growing demand for high-performance designs in the automotive, communications, computing, consumer and industrial control markets.

The Company's quality systems are ISO 9001 (1994 version) and QS9000 (1998 version) certified. Microchip is headquartered in Chandler, Arizona with design facilities in Mountain View, California and Bangalore, India; semiconductor fabrication facilities in Tempe and Chandler, Arizona and Puyallup, Washington; and assembly and test operations near Bangkok, Thailand. Microchip employs approximately 3,100 people worldwide and has sales offices throughout Asia, Europe, Japan and the Americas. More information on the Company can be found at www.microchip.com

The Microchip name and logo, PIC, PICmicro, microID and KEELOQ are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. FanSense is a trademark of Microchip Technology in the USA and other countries. SMBus is a trademark of Intel, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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