Designing a power supply to charge the battery for applications like portable audio or wearable fitness gadgets can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Now, you can fast-charge your selection and design process using the new WEBENCH Battery Charger Designer tool.

In addition to selecting the appropriate feature-rich linear or switch-mode battery charger integrated circuit (IC) for your application, the tool also enables passive-component selection and design analysis to speed up the prototyping process.

Using WEBENCH Battery Charger Designer starts with the panel shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Enter your lithium-ion battery specifications

On the panel, enter your cell count in parallel and cell capacity; the total capacity will calculate automatically based on these numbers. Then enter your application’s charger source type. The default option is an AC adapter, but as Figure 2 shows, you can also select USB, USB2 or USB3 source types. The input voltage and maximum current supported by that source type will change based on your selection.

Figure 2: Select the appropriate input charger source to set your input-voltage and current requirements

Enter output battery-specific requirements like charge voltage (Vchg) and charge current (Ichg). Also enter any ambient temperature requirements that your application might have. See Figure 3.

Figure 3: Specify the input and output charger specifications

Once you’ve clicked Start Design, you should see the Battery Charger Designer Visualizer page shown in Figure 4.

Once in the Battery Charger Designer Visualizer, you have the option to select from a set of battery-charger ICs that meet your specifications. You can further narrow down your choices in the Feature Filters box, also shown in Figure 4.

The options under Feature Filters include:

  • Solar input.
  • Overvoltage protection.
  • Power path management (PPM).
  • I2C.
  • USB options like differential sensing, On-The-Go (OTG) and power select (PSEL).
  • Charger topology choices between Narrow DC Voltage (NVDC)-1, NVDC-2 and VDC.
  • Converter topology choices between linear and switch mode.

Figure 4: Choose the appropriate design using the Battery Charger Visualizer

After selecting the various feature filter settings and sorting the solutions with the right combination of charging efficiency, footprint and cost, you can now finalize your design. Click the Open Design button to view the design-specific summary page. Figure 5 shows an example design for the BQ25890, a 5-A switch-mode battery charge and system power path management device.

Figure 5: On the Battery Charger Design Summary page, you can analyze the design schematic, operating values and charts, and update the register settings

Once in the Battery Charger Design Summary page, you can update the inputs specifically for your chosen design. Instead of scanning through multiple data sheets, you can quickly narrow down the relevant I2C register settings for input-current limit and maximum charge current using the Advanced Inputs section shown in Figure 6. You can also update the input and output design requirements from the default design values to try out other combinations.

Figure 6: Update the input design conditions and quickly set the register settings, if applicable

Furthermore, you can check out the design schematic and pick the relevant passive components using the BOM tab to confirm that you have the right parts for your application.

The WEBENCH Battery Charger Designer tool also provides valuable information about your design via charts and operating values, like charger IC junction temperature and charging efficiency across various input-voltage and charge-current settings. See Figure 7.

Figure 7: Charger efficiency and junction temperature analysis over input-voltage and charge-current conditions

Once you are satisfied, use the Export button at the top to export your schematic or printed circuit board (PCB) into the computer-aided design (CAD) format of your choice, or share the design with colleagues using the PDF report.

Get started on your battery charger design now with TI’s new WEBENCH Battery Charger Designer.