18 Oct 2005 | Geneva

STMicroelectronics Delivers Single-Chip Power Management Solution for Notebook PCs and Portable Systems

Smart power leader packs dual switching regulators plus dual low-drop-out linear regulators for normal and standby operation into one compact, lead-free package Geneva / 18 Oct 2005

Geneva, October 18, 2005 - STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers and the world’s leading supplier of semiconductor products for power conversion according to independent market analyst iSuppli*, has introduced the first device in a new family of products designed to provide the world’s most cost-effective and compact solutions for mobile PC power management. The PM6685 is a dual step-down controller specifically designed to provide the four output voltages necessary for the notebook system power during normal working conditions and in stand-by mode, with extremely high efficiency conversion (up to 96%) using a lossless current-sensing technique.

The PM6685 integrates two PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) voltage regulators and two LDO (Low Drop-Out) linear regulators in one compact package. The PWM regulators provide fixed 5V and 3.3V outputs that power the system during normal operation, while the LDO regulators provide constant 5V and 3.3V outputs for use during system standby. The integrated LDOs are designed to power the complete notebook during suspend states, sinking the current directly from the battery, while during normal working conditions an internal MOSFET switches the output PWM sections to the 5V and 3.3V LDOs, thereby increasing efficiency and extending the battery life. The device also features a constant on-time architecture that ensures fast-load transient response and an embedded voltage feed-forward circuit that provides almost constant switching frequency operation.

Building on ST’s long experience as a leader in power management ICs and smart-power technology, the PM6685 allows the reduction of PCB area, design cycle time, and Bill of Materials, thereby enabling the customers to minimize the complete system cost. For example, an embedded integrator control loop compensates the DC voltage error due to the output ripple, thereby allowing the designer to specify cheaper output capacitors without sacrificing performance.

For maximum system reliability and ease-of-use, the PM6685 provides power management status information via dedicated output pins that verify correct operation of the two switching regulators and the 3.3V linear regulator. It also supports disabling of the 3.3V LDO with a consequent increase in the current capability of the 5V LDO. Typically, each of the two LDOs can deliver 100mA output current.

Other key benefits of the PM6685 include overcurrent protection without power dissipation to maximize system efficiency while reducing system cost, and a selectable switching frequency, allowing either 200/300kHz, 300/400kHz or 400/500kHz operation of the 5V/3.3V switching sections. In addition, the device incorporates a pulse skipping technique that increases efficiency at very light load, with a selectable minimum switching frequency of 25kHz to avoid audio noise issues. A “Soft Off” discharge feature discharges the output capacitor on turn-off, ensuring that no voltages remain present in the system that could affect the next start up.

Built with mature BCD (Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) smart power technology that has been proven in a wide range of consumer, industrial, computer peripheral, and power-management applications, the PM6685 is housed in a compact VFQFPN 32-pin, lead-free package measuring just 5mm x 5mm and is ideal for notebook computers, tablet PCs and all mobile equipment operating from 3- or 4-cell Lithium Ion batteries.

The PM6685 is available now at a price of US$2.00 in quantities of 2000 pieces.

About ST’s Microcontroller, Linear & Discrete Group
STMicroelectronics is a world leader in offering complete system solutions that leverage its rich portfolio of Microcontroller, Linear, and Discrete products, advanced process and design technologies, and applications expertise. This emphasis on solutions allows the Company to minimize time-to-market for all customers worldwide in existing and emerging applications.

About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2004, the Company's net revenues were $8.76 billion and net earnings were $601 million. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.

* iSuppli “2004 Annual Semiconductor Market Share”, May 2005




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