Multifunction Power Management

March 3, 2005

What is a typical application for a multifunction power-management IC?

Multifunction power-management ICs are members of a new generation of devices that manage the power for special-application processors. For example, Intel's XScale processor optimizes low power consumption and high-performance processing. Its micro-architecture stateof-the-art processing technology enables it to produce mW/MIPS performance. This processor supports mobile handheld devices, including pocket PCs, smart phones, MP3 players, and portable GPS devices.

What unique characteristics does the XScale processor offer?

This processor can dynamically adjust its power and performance by controlling which internal peripherals should be powered at any given time. As a result, it provides a significant decrease in power consumption for wireless handheld devices, which increases battery life, standby, and talk time. This inherent flexibility lets designers make power/complexity tradeoffs and optimize a product for its intended application.

What are the XScale processor's power requirements?

To provide power-management flexibility, there are 10 different external power domains that can be individually controlled. The CPU core operates from a 0.85- to 1.55-V supply at a maximum of about 600 mA. The nine other processor peripheral supplies range from 1.1 to 3.3 V and draw from 0.3 to 300 mA.

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About the Author

Sam Davis 2

Sam Davis was the editor-in-chief of Power Electronics Technology magazine and website that is now part of Electronic Design. He has 18 years experience in electronic engineering design and management, six years in public relations and 25 years as a trade press editor. He holds a BSEE from Case-Western Reserve University, and did graduate work at the same school and UCLA. Sam was the editor for PCIM, the predecessor to Power Electronics Technology, from 1984 to 2004. His engineering experience includes circuit and system design for Litton Systems, Bunker-Ramo, Rocketdyne, and Clevite Corporation. Design tasks included analog circuits, display systems, power supplies, underwater ordnance systems, and test systems. He also served as a program manager for a Litton Systems Navy program.

Sam is the author of Computer Data Displays, a book published by Prentice-Hall in the U.S. and Japan in 1969. He also authored the book Managing Electric Vehicle Power. He is also a recipient of the Jesse Neal Award for trade press editorial excellence, and has one patent for naval ship construction that simplifies electronic system integration.

You can also check out additional articles on his other author page

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