Compact power management IC for vehicle camera modules

29th March 2019
Lanna Cooper

With automotive camera modules becoming increasingly smaller, designers can now utilise the ultra-compact MAX20049 power management IC from Maxim Integrated Products, which integrates four power supplies into a tiny footprint. In addition to being the most compact power management IC for vehicle camera modules, it delivers the highest efficiency on the market today.

The MAX20049 offers many options to support various output voltages, while also providing fault mitigation by flagging faults and shifts in output voltages.

Automotive camera modules tend to be size-constrained, so designers are constantly in search of a power management solution that can pack the necessary power and functionality into a small form factor.

The 4-channel MAX20049 power management IC is almost 30% more compact than competitive solutions and offers the highest efficiency among other quad-power power management ICs in its class. It offers many options to support modules that need various output voltages for different mixes of sensors and serialisers, enabling designers to make changes in layout as needed or to fine-tune the IC to meet specific application requirements.

The MAX20049 provides fault mitigation, a feature required by designers to help flag faults and shifts in output voltages to ensure that the cameras are working as needed.

Key advantages

  • Smallest Solution Size: has a PCB footprint that is almost 30% smaller than that of the closest competitor (38mm² compared to 53.3mm²)
    • Four outputs (dual bucks and dual LDOs) in a 3x3mm QFN package
    • Protection unavailable in competitive products include over-voltage protection, under-voltage lockout, external power good (PGOOD) signal and cycle-by-cycle current limit
  • Highest Efficiency: system efficiency at full load is 74% (versus 69% for discrete automotive solutions)
    • Thermal performance plus high efficiency contributes to overall optimised performance
  • Flexibility: the dual buck converters and low-noise LDO support a wide voltage input range from 4-17V, enabling Power-Over-Coax (POC), typically from 8-10V. There is also an option of using one of the buck converters as an intermediate supply for generating typical sensor and serialiser rails
    • Optimises thermal performance and minimises coax inrush current at startup
    • Flexible sequencing and fixed output voltages supporting various image sensors
  • Fault Mitigation: flags faults and shifts in output voltages to ensure cameras are working as intended
    • Once an over- or under-voltage signal is detected, the PGOOD pin will assert low
    • Cycle-by-cycle current limit implemented by the respective converter if either output is shorted
  • Low Noise: spread spectrum and 2.2MHz switching frequency mitigates ElectroMagnetic Interference (EMI) to meet CISPR low noise specifications

“We continuously look for integrated power devices that provide the required power source for image sensors while minimising size in vehicle-based imaging designs,” said Tsutomu Haruta, Deputy Senior General Manager, Sony Semiconductor Solutions. “Maxim’s power solutions would help enable multi-camera functionality and advanced driver safety systems in a small footprint.”

“We selected the MAX20049 due to its high integration, which aids in designing smaller boards - traditionally a challenge in designing cameras,” said Chris Day, Vice President of Marketing, Ambarella.

“Maxim has a stellar reputation within our Tier 1 customers for providing a complete automotive-grade solution for power and SerDes that include AECQ100 and ASIL-level certifications. Using reputable automotive-grade parts in our reference design ensures that customers can simply replicate the design, thereby reducing the overall risk in production.”

“Designers have increasingly demanding constraints to adhere to when designing for the tiny components that go into cars, such as cameras modules, which is why there is a growing demand for more advanced power management ICs,” said Chintan Parikh, Executive Business Manager for the Automotive Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “The MAX20049 meets ADAS design needs in terms of form factor, fault mitigation and power requirements, which translates to faster design cycles and quicker time to market.”

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