STMicroelectronics Encourages Standardized Battery Chargers for Mobile Devices with Introduction of Integrated Protection IC

Over-voltage protection IC offers choice of four threshold voltages suitable for chargers up to 6.8V including USB chargers recommended by China MII and GSM Association

GENEVA, July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in protection ICs, has introduced a new IC for cellphones and mobile devices that will help combat the environmental impact of large numbers of battery chargers discarded when their owners upgrade to newer equipment. With about one billion handsets now shipping each year, this could save over 500 million scrap chargers, worldwide.

Organizations including the Chinese government and the GSM Association are proposing standard battery-charger connectors and voltages to allow universal chargers for mobile phones. These efforts are focusing on USB standards as a convenient, cost-effective solution. In addition to reducing discarded chargers, standard chargers will also allow charging from a PC or laptop USB port. In fact, any type of mobile device, marketed in any territory, can improve environmental performance and increase convenience for users by providing a standardized charger interface.

ST's new IC, the STBP120, protects the charging-control circuitry inside cellphones and other battery-powered portable equipment in case the external charger applies an excessive voltage. A number of variants are available, suitable for a range of charging-voltage levels including the USB voltages recommended by the current best-known proposals. These include YD/T 1591-2006 put forward by China's Minister for Information and Industry (MII).

When implemented inside a battery-powered product, the STBP120 monitors the voltage from the connected charger. If the detected voltage exceeds a preset threshold, an internal solid-state switch is opened, thereby preventing the over-voltage from damaging the internal circuitry. There are four variants spanning threshold values from 5.375V to 6.02V, allowing engineers to optimize for USB chargers at up to 5.25V or other chargers at higher voltages up to 6.8V. Each device will protect against over-voltages as high as 28V. In normal operation the internal switch, an N-channel MOSFET, has very low resistance of 90 milliOhms to promote efficiency and minimize heat dissipation.

Other features include a fault-indicator output, soft-start capability to limit inrush current to the charging circuitry, and a thermal shutdown to protect against excessive temperature. The device can save pc-board space and component count in many other types of products where over-voltage protection is normally implemented using a discrete transient-voltage suppressor and a fuse. The over-voltage threshold can also be set more accurately than when using discrete devices.

The STBP120 is delivered in an ultra-small 2 x 2.5mm, 10-lead TDFN package, and is in full production priced at $0.37 in quantities of 1000 units.

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About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2008, the Company's net revenues were $9.84 billion. Further information on ST can be found at

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