Power management chip for i.MX 8M IoT apps processor

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By Nick Flaherty

The BD71837MWV integrates all power rails required by i.MX 8M processors and system peripherals, dramatically reducing the number of external components needed. A high-efficiency buck converter provides a maximum conversion efficiency of 95% and most of the protection functions required by the system are included, making it possible to significantly reduce the development time, decrease size, and simplify system design. 

The device integrates 8 buck converters, 7 LDOs, and control logic that allows it to supply power not only to the processor, but the required DDR memory as well – all from a single chip. A 1.8V/3.3V power switch for SDXC cards is also built in, along with a 32.768kHz crystal oscillator buffer and multiple protection circuits such as output short-circuit, output over-voltage/current, and thermal shutdown. The buck conversion efficiency from 83 to 95% is achieved for a 0.7V to 3.3V output, and the wide input voltage range from 2.7V to 5.5V supports a variety of power sources, from batteries to USB.

Power sequencing, SoC-PMIC control signaling, and power state transitions are automatically handled by hardware control logic and the PMIC supports all i.MX 8M low-power states such as SNVS and SUSPEND, consuming only 30µA in the SNVS state and 137µA at IDLE with all but two power rails on. And communication with the host processor is performed via I2C, enabling 100/400kHz and 1MHz operation.

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has allowed electronic devices such as smart speakers to interact with users through voice commands for streaming audio/video. NXP’s i.MX 8M family integrates up to 4 ARM Cortex-A53 and Cortex-4 cores and offers flexible memory options along with a high-speed connectable user interface. Additional features include full 4K Ultra HD and HDR video functionality, high-fidelity audio playback, up to 20 audio channels, and support for DSD512 audio. 

“ROHM continues to be a valued i.MX eco system partner. BD71837MWV is a welcome choice for i.MX8M customers who seek single-chip power solution.” said Leonardo Azevedo, NXP’s i.MX Senior Director of Marketing at NXP Semiconductor.

High-performance applications processing graphics, video and audio often place conflicting demands on power supply and thermal design, calling for higher power in a smaller footprint along with high peak efficiency yet low standby power consumption (the latter driven by regulations as well as use cases such as always-on devices with voice interface). The BD71837MWV was designed to address these demands while also achieving the lowest system bill of materials for power management. In addition, the compact form factor reduces the number of external components by 56, decreasing the PCB area needed by 45% for a Type-3 one-sided PCB. The software programmability and one-time programmability (OTP) means the PMIC can be easily adapted for a wide variety of system designs.

The BD71837MWV has been verified with the i.MX 8M SoC, shortening development time and enabling timely product release. ROHM has prepared guidelines, reference circuits, and layouts related to peripheral applications required for design. A PMIC evaluation board is also available that allows users to verify operation in advance when evaluating the power supply block or customising the circuit to fit the design needs.

Samples are available now in June with production in October.


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