BOM-optimize your vacuum cleaner!

In the consumer world with products, such as vacuum cleaners and white goods, the Bill of Materials (BOM) is extremely important.  The broad array of products and companies designing those products create great competition—pressuring profits and market share.  The system BOM is a simple place to turn for optimizations that increase the competiveness of the end product by adding or removing features and/or adjusting the cost.

In these markets, it is very useful to have a processor with very simple power requirements.  Though it requires 4 rails, the AM437x has very basic power-on sequencing requirements and no power-down sequencing requirements.  So, an integrated PMIC is not needed because the interface between the various voltages can be easily taken care of with simple circuits such as power good pins and RC delay circuitry.

While a PMIC does allow for a simpler design with one integrated circuit and supports optional functionality, such as coin cell backup power and a wakeup interrupt, a discrete solution using multiple integrated circuits is BOM-optimized with single channel DC/DC converters. This occurs in applications where a basic feature set is required and extra bells and whistles are unneeded.  After all, you can’t even hear the bells and whistles when the vacuum is running.  A discrete solution also allows scaling pieces of the power supply to achieve a certain performance level or features.  Now, the only issue is finding the appropriate BOM-optimized converters and wiring together a design that meets the minimal sequencing requirements of the processor.

TI Design TIDEP0020 solves  this problem.  It is a tested reference design for powering the AM437x with an optimized BOM using TLV (value line) products such as the TLV62080 and TLV62565.  This BOM-optimized solution is validated and proven with no extra design effort needed.  No bells and whistles—just the basics.  The bare minimum, when just the bare minimum is required.

In what systems could you optimize your BOM?

  • What would a vacuum cleaner be doing that would require a Cortex-A9 micro in the first place? It doesn't appear as if the micro selection was very BOM-optimised!