Electronic Design

Battery Pack Improves Li-Ion Management For Electric Vehicles

STMicroelectronics and LG Chem have announced plans to develop an automotive battery pack that will extend the potential of electric and hybrid electric vehicles, combining LG Chem’s lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology with a battery-management chip from STMicroelectronics.

Today’s hybrids use batteries based on nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) technology, which use simple control circuits but are heavier and operate at lower voltages. Li-ion batteries offer an energy-to-weight ratio that’s twice that of NiMH batteries and have a very low self-discharge while they aren’t in use.

But Li-ions haven’t seen wide use in higher-power applications since their charge/discharge cycle must be carefully managed to protect them from abuse. The LG Chem Li-ion battery pack manages the charge/discharge cycle by incorporating the STM chip to enable safe and long-term battery reliability at an affordable cost, even in harsh automotive applications like powertrain systems.

The STM chip is manufactured with the company’s proprietary bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (BCD) technology, which combines digital logic circuits, precise analog measurement circuits, and power-handling transistors. Each chip can handle up to 10 Li-ion cells. Also, each chip includes an interface for communicating with other STM battery-management chips in a system, and up to 32 battery-management chips can be connected in cascade to manage batteries delivering up to 1600 V to electric motors.

Often called smart power, BCD enables STM to manufacture three fundamental components on a single low-cost chip: digital logic for high-speed computation, analog circuits for high-precision measurement and control, and power transistors that manage the flow of high electric currents.

LG Chem

www.lgchem.com

STMicroelectronics

www.st.com

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