'Industry's first' USB-C buck-boost battery charger

18th February 2016
Nat Bowers

Intersil has introduced what it claims to be the industry’s first buck-boost battery charger that supports two-way power delivery in ultrabooks, tablets and power banks using the reversible USB Type-C connector. The single-chip ISL9237 Narrow VDC (NVDC) battery charger replaces competitive buck and boost two-chip charger solutions, eliminating a charger IC and inductor to reduce customer BOM costs by up to 40%.

The ISL9237 leverages Intersil’s patented R3 modulation technology for acoustic noise-free operation, excellent light load efficiency and ultra-fast transient response to extend battery run-time.

The USB 3.1-compliant ISL9237 joins the emerging USB-C ecosystem as the first battery charger capable of providing buck-mode, buck-boost-mode, and boost-mode for 1-to-3 cell Li-ion batteries. It also supports USB On-The-Go (OTG) with a 5Vout reverse buck-mode and reduces traditional two-stage charging to a single-stage buck-boost for improved efficiency. The USB Type-C interface connection enables delivery of data, video and power up to 100W over a single cable.

In charging mode, the ISL9237 takes input power from a wide range of DC power sources - AC/DC charger adapters, USB power delivery ports and any travel adapter - to charge battery packs with up to 3-series cell Li-ion batteries. The ISL9237 can also operate connected to only a battery, an adapter or both. The ISL9237’s system turbo-mode helps the battery and charger adapter work together to supply the system load when it exceeds the adapter’s capability. In turbo-mode, the ISL9237 quickly turns on the battery BGATE FET to deliver system power. In addition, the ISL9237’s wide 5 to 20V input voltage capability helps boost the USB-C ecosystem to support new power bank products.

Andrew Cowell, Senior Vice President, Mobile Power Products, Intersil, commented: “Mobile computing customers have come to rely on Intersil’s battery charging and power management innovations to create the world’s most efficient devices. The ISL9237 is the first USB-C battery charger to market. It far exceeds the limits of what was previously possible to help our customers develop products with thinner form factors and much longer battery life.”

The ISL9237 buck-boost battery charger is available now in a 4x4mm, 32-lead QFN package and priced at $3.50 in 1,000 quantities.

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