Chip Design Pushes Piezo Boundaries

Apex Microtechnology claims it broke new ground in high-speed, high-voltage, and low-quiescent-current silicon design by combining its own patented IC circuitry with evolving high-speed, high-voltage fab processes.

The PA78, PA86, and PA69 are high-speed, highvoltage ICs targeted at the industrial and medical markets. Both industries are incorporating more piezoelectric devices into their products.

Piezos are hailed for their ability to generate very fine movement in applications such as commercial ink-jet printers and ultrasonic cleaners. This trio of chips provides customers with various combinations of high speed, high voltage, and very low standby current. The PA78 can achieve slew rates of up to 350V/µs on supply voltages of 350V. It also delivers up to 150mA of output current while generating very little standby current—less than 1mA depending on performance requirements.

The intellectual property behind the PA78 series provides the secret to its success. Each IC's design provides extremely high slew rates in pulse applications while maintaining very low quiescent current of under 1mA. Slew-rate performance is independent of supply current while exhibiting a functional relationship to voltage amplitude. More simply stated, as the input signal increases, so does the slew rate.

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