Auto Electronics

Analog Devices introduces automotive-qualified digital isolators

Analog Devices, Inc. has introduced a family of digital isolators designed to operate in automotive environments.

Robbie McAdam, vice president of the firm’s Analog Semiconductor Components Division, said that unlike the relatively low-voltage signals that power most in-car entertainment, safety, and power train systems, hybrid-vehicle batteries can operate at voltages in excess of 600 V, thus creating a need for galvanic isolation of system-critical electronics.

Analog Devices’ ADuM120xW, ADuM130xW and ADuM140xW digital isolators were developed for electric-hybrid vehicle systems such as motor drives and battery management systems. The new iCoupler products carry an AEC-Q100 qualified –40 °C to +125 °C automotive temperature rating.
“Until today, the only isolation available for hybrid car and truck batteries was in the form of optocouplers, which are notorious for being difficult to manage and operate at temperatures over 105 °C,” said McAdam. “In an application where fuel economy and battery capacity are everything, ADI’s digital isolators not only remove the limitations of optocouplers, they do so at 90% less power consumption.”

The two-channel ADuM120xW, three-channel ADuM130xW and four-channel ADuM140xW digital isolators are based on Analog Devices’ proprietary iCoupler chip-scale micro-transformer technology. The new devices provide multiple isolation channels in a variety of channel configurations and data rates up to 25 Mbps. The CMOS-based parts operate with the supply voltage on either side ranging from 3.0 V to 5.5 V, providing compatibility with lower-voltage systems as well as enabling voltage translation across the isolation barrier.

McAdam said the iCoupler digital isolators are relatively insensitive to temperature and demonstrate excellent long-term reliability. Because they have a digital interface, there is no need for external signal conditioning components, and they consume one-tenth to one-sixth the power of optocouplers at comparable signal data rates.

The ADuM120xW, ADuM130xW and ADuM140xW digital isolators are available now for sampling and volume production. The new digital isolators are available in 8-lead narrow-body or 16-lead wide-body SOIC (small-outline integrated circuit) packages and are priced from $0.55 per channel in OEM quantities.

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