Recent blog posts
  • Fully Charged
    • Feb 21, 2017

    Extend battery life with a LDO, a voltage supervisor and a FET

    Extended battery life is a common design requirement across a variety of applications. Whether it’s for toys or water meters, designers have various techniques at their disposal to improve battery life. In this post, I will illustrate one such technique that involves strategically bypassing a low dropout linear regulator (LDO). Generating the...
  • Fully Charged
    • Jan 27, 2017

    Power your smart lock for five years on one set of batteries

    Linear regulator, boost (step-up) or buck (step-down) – these are the three power-supply topologies for most smart locks. Which do you choose for your designs? Why does it matter? The success of any Internet of Things (IoT) device hinges on its...
  • Fully Charged
    • Jan 17, 2017

    How 1.2% more efficiency can help you charge faster and cooler

    With portable products packed with new features and an embedded lithium-ion battery inside, one key design consideration is how to optimize the end-user experience with fast and cool charging. Most higher-current (>1A) portable electronics have adopted a high-efficiency synchronous-switching battery charger with integrated MOSFETs. These chargers...
  • Fully Charged
    • Jan 10, 2017

    How do you detect battery aging in rarely discharged applications?

    Battery packs are used in the products that we depend on daily. Many of our portable devices such as our cell phones, our watches and our tablet computers are constantly at our sides and running on batteries. Consequently, their batteries discharge t...
  • Fully Charged
    • Dec 27, 2016

    Don’t let your battery drain on the shelf – use ship mode

    Don’t let your battery drain on the shelf – use ship mode You’ve done it; your battery-powered design is complete: a new wearable for the consumer electronics market. You’re excited, and you want your consumers to feel that same excitement when they open the box and turn the device on. But how do you make sure that happens...
  • Fully Charged
    • Dec 16, 2016

    How to choose a multicell gauge

    A battery gauge is essential in most modern systems to help determine how much power a given system can draw from the battery pack. Whether batteries are the system’s primary or backup power source, in most systems reliably operate on. In most...
  • Fully Charged
    • Dec 6, 2016

    Make your power bank more reliable with output short-circuit protection

    Lithium ion (Li-Ion) or lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries are key components in some portable systems, especially power banks. But on rare occasions, these batteries have the potential risk of catching on fire or even exploding in short-circuit, overvoltage or high-temperature conditions. An increasing number of such incidences are occurring even today...
  • On the Grid
    • Nov 21, 2016

    A mini data concentrator for the smart grid

    Infrastructure equipment such as data concentrators and broadband backhaul routers represent a large portion of the cost of electric utilities’ advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) networks. Reducing the required capex by optimizing infrastructure deployments helps improve overall project’s return on investment. Utilities deploying...
  • Fully Charged
    • Nov 4, 2016

    How accurate is your battery fuel gauge? Part 2/2

    Step-by-step calculation of gauging accuracy and other factors affecting accuracy In part 1 of this series, I discussed the difference between measurement accuracy and gauging accuracy. I highlighted that gauging accuracy depends on the accuracy of i...
  • Fully Charged
    • Oct 28, 2016

    Wireless power during the zombie apocalypse

    bq501210 evaluation module (EVM) Did you know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a web page from the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response to address zombie preparedness . They claim that it is tongue in cheek, but we all know better. Here’s a horrifying thought, what happens when things go south and the zombies...
  • Fully Charged
    • Oct 17, 2016

    Protecting your battery isn’t as hard as you think

    bq77905 3S to 5S Advanced Stackable Low Power Battery Protector EVM When it comes to any type of protection, the solution should be simple. Protection should be something that you design and set up once and don’t have to worry about again; at least that’s how it should be. But when it comes to more and better battery protection, designers...
  • Corporate Citizenship Blog
    • Oct 13, 2016

    Grants benefit North Texas arts and culture

    Texas Instruments (TI) and the TI Foundation recently gave a combined $2.1 million to a variety of North Texas arts and culture organizations, continuing a long-standing commitment to support the quality of life in the company’s headquarters co...
  • On the Grid
    • Oct 7, 2016

    Tripping Point: Isolation amplifier-based alternating current voltage measurement in protection relays

    Protection relays are used to protect high- or mid- or low-voltage power systems, sense an abnormal condition in the circuit, and command the operation of circuit breakers. Voltage and current inputs from the equipment being protected are connected to the protection relay. Protecting power-system elements requires accurate measurement of three-phase...
  • Fully Charged
    • Oct 5, 2016

    How active and passive cell balancing works

    In a Power Systems Design article, “ Active and passive balancing for battery management systems (North America > December 2015 > Page 21),” Stefano Zanella described how a multicell system becomes unbalanced. In this post, I would l...
  • Fully Charged
    • Sep 26, 2016

    How accurate is your battery fuel gauge? Part 1/2

    Part 1: Measurement and gauging accuracy A battery gauge, commonly called a gas or fuel gauge, obtains data from the battery to determine how much juice is left in it. Gauging accuracy should not be misconstrued for measurement accuracy of a gauge....