Texas Instruments has issued a direct challenge to Analog Devices and Infineon Technologies on the next generation of wireless battery management system (BMS) technology.
Like ADI it sees a wireless BMS as key to the economics of electric vehicles, reducing the weight and complexity of wiring and allowing the battery packs to have a second life in other applications.
TI is using its 16 channel, ASIL-D compliant BQ79616-Q1 battery monitor and balancer coupled with a 2.4GHz SimpleLink CC2662R-Q1 wireless microcontroller (MCU) running a proprietary low latency, high reliability protocol. This protocol uses spread spectrum frequency hopping techniques to minimise interference and time domain modulation (TDM) to provide deterministic operation in a star-of-stars topilogy.
It is this combination that is key says TI.
“One of the unique advantage is that we believe we have the industry’s lowest power consumption, 10x lower, with the combination of frequency hopping and TDM and we can duty cycle the nodes to transmit while still maintaining the synchronous connection,” said Ram Vedantham, business line manager for 2.4 GHz Connectivity, when asked about other systems.
ADI is working with car maker GM and with electric supercar developer Rimac on a 2.4GHz mesh wireless BMS and Infineon also has plans for such a system. All three companies are major suppliers to the automotive industry with experience in the battery systems and safety requirements. Maxim Integrated, which is being acquired by ADI, has also developed a wireless BMS for electric vehicles.
“We have the ability to scale from 8 or 16 cell configurations that is the current use case all the way up to 100 nodes,” he said. “We start at the physical level with a robust and high throughput and then a MAC using a frequency hopping and adding the TDM and interframe spacing is close to zero so we can go pretty high in the [data] payload."