Maxim bets its shirt on integration
Maxim is staking its future on integrated analogue in the belief that sales of analogue SoCs will overtake discrete analogue sales within two years.
Asked by EW what integrated analogue means, Maxim responded: ‘Analogue has traditionally been divided into four discrete technologies –amplifiers, data conversion, interface and power management. Analogue integration combines these technologies into a single chip, which also includes microcontrollers and small amounts of memory in order to solve system-level problems in a single piece of silicon.’’
Pursuing its strategy of integrated analogue, Maxim has introduced five SoCs for factory automation and automotive applications.
One of the two factory automation products, the MAX78638, addresses 3-phase motor energy measurement and diagnostics. It contains a microcontroller, compute engine, ADC and flexible and configurable sensor interfaces that allow for the measurement of current, voltage, speed, vibration, position, and temperature. The ADC claims a less than 0.5% energy calculation error compared to the 5% of a standard microprocessor solution.
The other factory automation product, the MAX31865 is an RTD-to-digital converter, a single-chip claiming to lower cost by up to 50% and solve the common industrial design problem of digitising a platinum RTD (such as a Pt100 or Pt1000) resistance.
For automotive, Maxim has launched the MAX17823 high-voltage battery sensor for mission-critical automotive and industrial lithium-ion battery and fuel cell applications. It has a full suite of proprietary integrated ISO-26262 diagnostic features. It maximises electric and hybrid electric vehicle driving range, while ensuring battery and fuel cell safety and reliability.
The other two automotive products are the MAX9273/MAX9272 (22 bits) and MAX9271/MAX9272 (16 bits) serial-data chipsets transmit over coax cables and lower costs for automotive camera systems by up to 50%. The chipsets reduce power use, process signals faster, and improve electromagnetic emissions compared to standard solutions using Ethernet cables. Maxim’s new camera chipsets operate at 1.5Gbps. Using coax cables, the chipsets do not need to compress data and thus process images immediately—a crucial requirement for safety applications like sign recognition, collision avoidance, and night vision.
Maxim has also launched a “Fit” shirt which measures 3-lead ECG, body temperature, and motion. The Fit shirt integrates dry ECG sensor technology, complex signal processing technology, a temperature sensor, motion sensor, an ultra-low-power microcontroller, and wireless electronics.