The MAX11068, a high-voltage, 12-cell, battery-monitoring IC for hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and any system that stacks long series strings of batteries, employs a proprietary SMBus-laddered communication bus that allows multiple MAX11068s to be daisy chained together without expensive isolators. This approach allegedly reduces battery-management system costs by up to 80% while simplifying battery pack design and precisely balancing cells for maximum energy delivery. Features include two- to 12-cell Li+ battery measurement, ±0.25% cell-measurement error, two temperature channels, integrated diagnostics, power consumptions of 100 mA in operating mode and 1 mA in shutdown mode, operation from 6V to 72V, and the ability to withstand transients up to 80V. Available in a 38-pin TSSOP, prices start at $8.12 each/100. MAXIM INTEGRATED PRODUCTS, Sunnyvale, CA. (800) 998-8800.