Atmel Corporation has introduced the ATA6826, a load driver IC for automotive applications fabricated in Atmel’s high-voltage SMARTIS BCDMOS-SOI (bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor/double-diffused metal oxide semiconductor – silicon-on-insulator) technology.
The device is designed to control two dc motors or up to three different loads via a microcontroller in body electronic systems such as mirror positioning and climate control. Its high-voltage capability (up to 40 V), also allows the device to be used in 24 V applications.
Use of the SOI substrate results in very low leakage current, significant reduction in crosstalk between power and digital circuits on the same die, and lower parasitic effects, all of which improve electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) performance. SOI also enables a chip size reduction – a gate density equivalent to 0.5 µm CMOS – as well as lower manufacturing costs; the latter from simplifying the IC fabrication process through elimination of high-energy implementation for well doping, and simplification of device isolation.
Each of the chip’s three high-side and three low-side drivers is capable of driving currents up to 1A. The drivers are internally connected to form three half-bridges, and can be controlled separately from a standard serial data interface. As a result, various kinds of loads, such as bulbs, resistors, capacitors, and inductors, can be combined. The IC design especially supports the application of H-bridges to drive dc motors. Operation modes (forward, reverse and brake), and high impedance can all be controlled through the SPI interface. Protection features include overtemperature warning and shutdown, overload, overvoltage protection, and full protection against short circuits.