Renesas Electronics Delivers First Battery Management IC Solutions with Integrated Microcontroller and Large Current Support in Response to Accelerated Adoption of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Industrial Equipment

Support Up to Ten Cells with a Maximum Capacity of 50 V and Simplify Safe Battery Management with Extensive Support Tools

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — December 13, 2016 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced two new battery management IC solutions for lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable batteries used in industrial equipment, such as electric power tools and E-bikes (bicycles incorporating electric motors). The solutions based on the RAJ240090, supporting three to eight cells, and RAJ240100, supporting three to ten cells, simplify the design of industrial battery management systems, providing a high degree of safety.

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Renesas Electronics Corporation introduces two new battery management IC solutions for lithium-ion ( ...

Renesas Electronics Corporation introduces two new battery management IC solutions for lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable batteries used in industrial equipment. (Photo: Business Wire)

The new solutions support up to ten cells for a maximum 50V capability and are Renesas’ first battery management solutions for Li-ion batteries supporting industrial applications.

In recent years, Li-ion battery usage has increased from typical mobile applications to industrial applications such as electric power tools, E-bikes, vacuum cleaners, emergency power supplies, and uninterruptable power supplies (UPS). The RAJ240090 and RAJ240100 have built-in safety features to protect Li-ion batteries from catastrophic failure. In addition, Renesas offers design support tools, which enable the rapid development of battery management systems.

Key features of the RAJ240090- and RAJ240100-based battery management IC solutions:

(1) Integrated microcontroller (MCU) that enables flexible support for a wide variety of industrial battery system specifications

The new solutions are the industry's first (Note 1) Li-ion battery management ICs for industrial equipment supporting three to ten cells to feature an integrated low-power RL78 MCU. They integrate the remaining capacity measurement and safety monitoring functions, such as overvoltage and overcurrent, and Renesas’ low-power RL78 MCU into a single package to provide flexible support for a wide variety of industrial battery system specifications. This provides a high-precision A/D converter (required for battery control voltage measurement) and MCU that have been matched and adjusted beforehand, thereby contribute to substantially reducing the need for calibration. In addition, the peripheral functions required by industrial applications, including power supply, field effect transistor (FET) driver, and real-time clock, are included on-chip. This can reduce the BOM cost of the battery management system block by approximately 30 percent compared to other Renesas products.

(2) Rich design support tools that enable even beginners to easily implement battery systems with a high level of safety

Renesas plans to release development startup support tools, such as reference software, reference circuit diagrams, and setup manuals. The support tools will enable changes to parameter setting and simplify Li-ion battery pack design, and to enable faster solutions for battery management.

(3) Maintenance of high safety level through constant safety monitoring in ultra-low-power mode, with the ability to safely shut down the system if a problem occurs

The RAJ240090 and RAJ240100 support a ultra-low-power mode, which reduces current consumption to only 25 µA. This allows battery monitoring functions to operate constantly, even when the system is powered off. A record-keeping function can store information such as battery history to monitor deterioration and store system faults in the MCU memory. The MCU can issue an alarm and disable battery to prevent Li-ion battery failure.

In addition, the battery management ICs support a system configuration in which N-channel MOSFETs are positioned at the positive poles of the battery cells (Note 2). This means that if the battery management IC fails, the system can be shut down safely. If, on the other hand, the MCU enters a runaway state, the battery protection function of the analog front-end block can continue to operate independently, providing failsafe for enhanced system safety.

Pricing & Availability

Samples of the RAJ240090 and RAJ240100 battery management ICs are available now. Pricing differs by product. For example, the RAJ240090, which supports three to eight cells, is priced at US$10.00 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in January 2017 and is expected to reach a volume of 1,000,000 units per month by January 2018. Renesas plans to provide evaluation boards, development tools, and software for these products. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

For more information on Renesas, follow Renesas Electronics America at @RenesasAmerica on Twitter and http://www.facebook.com/RenesasAmerica.

(Note 1) The new battery management solutions are the industry’s first ICs to incorporate safety monitoring functions, such as remaining capacity measurement or overvoltage and overcurrent measurement, and to support Li-ion rechargeable batteries for industrial applications utilizing three to ten cells with integrated MCU.

(Note 2) The battery management IC incorporates a charge pump to enable it to drive N-channel FETs. If the battery management IC fails, the charge pump stops operating, shutting down the system safely.

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