Atmel Targets Automotive Applications with Low-Power Voltage Regulator IC

8/4/2004 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced the availability of a new voltage regulator system IC. The ATA6405 is based on a fully integrated system voltage supply concept and consumes extremely low power. The new device is manufactured using Atmelís 0.8-micron BCDMOS process technology, which supports operation of up to 40 Volts and is optimized for applications in harsh environments. Applications include all kinds of Electronic Control Units (ECUs) to supply the microcontrollers in 12/24 V board voltage systems, for example, climate control, air conditioning or dashboard modules.

The new voltage regulator system IC is especially suited for applications where linear regulators cause excessive power dissipation and where additional performance such as power management is requested. Since the new device is not a standard linear voltage regulator IC but a system device, it has many parts of the application such as reset logic, window watchdog, wake-up mechanism etc. already integrated. To minimize power consumption, a switching regulator generates a voltage for supplying the internal linear regulator with a 5-V output voltage for microcontrollers.

To monitor the microcontroller, provision has been made for a window watchdog feature incorporating a reset logic function. The voltage system IC provides three modes: active, standby and off. One control input serves to facilitate the selection between active and standby mode. Another input permits the selection between standby and off mode. During off mode, a maximum quiescent current of less than 10 microampere flows through the system, and the output voltage is switched off. In standby mode, the quiescent current is less than 30 microampere while the output voltage of 5 V is still available to operate the microcontroller in power-down mode.

"With the trend of increased electronics applications in the vehicle, the question of powering of the entire Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is getting more and more important. The microcontrollers that are used on the ECU side require an intelligent handling of the power supply for various modes. The first member of Atmel's forthcoming family of intelligent power supply systems excellently meets this requirement," said Torsten Mann, Marketing Director for Automotive and Control products at Atmel.

Furthermore, the ATA6405 provides several protection features such as overtemperature shutdown, full protection against short circuits and over-/undervoltage detection. The device meets the strict automotive qualification demands, and it can withstand transients according to ISO/TR 7637/1.

Samples of the new voltage regulator system IC ATA6405 in QFN28 packages, measuring only 7 x 7 mm, are available now. Pricing starts at US$ 1.92 (10 k).

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

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Atmel's voltage regulator system IC ATA6405 product information may be retrieved at:

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