Single IC enables any portable device to be quickly charged over USB in a car

October 17, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. has introduced the MAX16984 automotive DC-DC converter with USB charge emulator which uses a single IC to recognize and then charge any portable device (PD) directly from a vehicle battery.

Previously, PDs like smartphones and tablets could not charge reliably from OEM stock USB ports in vehicles. Long embedded USB cables cause a voltage drop and reduce charging current, resulting in a PD to not properly charge. Low-cost portable USB car chargers introduce RF interference. Now, the MAX16984 brings intelligent USB charging into an automobile and solves these problems.

The single-chip solution integrates all the functions of the traditional three-chip solution. The MAX16984 combines a low EMI 5 V automotive-grade DC-DC converter capable of driving up to 2.5 A with dynamic voltage adjustment, which is essential for charging contemporary PDs over long automotive embedded cables; a USB Battery Charging Specification v1.2-compliant charge emulator, which conducts the necessary handshake between the PD and upstream host instructing the PD to increase its charge current; and integrated ESD diodes and USB over voltage protection switches, which provide robust industry-le ading fault protection. The result is the fastest and most reliable PD charging with the smallest solution size. The MAX16984 is ideal for automotive radios and navigation modules, embedded telematics and connectivity modules, and USB-dedicated charging ports.

The MAX16984 combines the functions of the standard three-chip solution: a 5 V automotive-grade DC-DC converter capable of driving up to 2.5A, a USB BC1.2 charge adapter emulator, and USB protection switches for automotive USB host applications.

The device operates from a voltage up to 28 V and is protected from load dump transients up to 42 V; integrated output adjustment eliminates cable voltage drop.

The MAX16984’s automotive USB function communicates with a connected PD and switches to low-power mode when not in use to reduce power consumption.  The device is the only USB protection IC with integrated ESD diodes, which prevent damage to the vehicle’s radio or peripheral components.

“The highly integrated, small MAX16984 allows industry-leading USB charging directly from a low-cost radio, hub, or dedicated charge port,” said Ben Landen, Automotive Business Manager at Maxim