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High-side switches geared for car electronics

22 Jan 2013

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STMicroelectronics has introduced its pace-setting switch ICs aimed at vehicle electronics such as lights and body modules. According to the company, the devices offer enhanced intelligent features, improve protection and reliability, and are up to 40 per cent smaller than similar solutions.

Intelligent high-side switches are said to offer a more reliable and efficient replacement for conventional relays. For several generations, ST's VIPower family has offered advantages such as a common package style for many devices in the range. This allows tier-one suppliers to build several module variants using the same basic hardware and software so car makers can address differing requirements in international markets and offer various model specifications and options cost-effectively.

In the seventh generation of ST's VIPower family, the M0-7 series are available in a 5 x 4mm package. This allows car electronics designers to save PCB space and aim for smaller module sizes. Moreover, various internal design changes increase precision, enhance diagnostic feedback and improve reliability. Specifically, performance improvements include greater protection against short circuits, more accurate voltage and temperature feedback, increased current-sense precision and best-in-class electromagnetic emission (EMI) performance, described ST.

Samples of all family members are available. The first device to enter production will be the dual-channel VND7020AJ-E, in 2Q13, priced from $1.10 for orders over 1,000 pieces. The full range of package types available across the family will include PowerSSO-16, PowerSSO-36, Octapak and SO-8.

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