NewsSTMicroelectronics Unveils SPSB081 Automotive Power-Management IC: A Swiss Army Knife for Car-Body...

STMicroelectronics Unveils SPSB081 Automotive Power-Management IC: A Swiss Army Knife for Car-Body Controllers and Beyond

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STMicroelectronics, a global leader in semiconductor solutions, has introduced the SPSB081 automotive power-management IC, a versatile and feature-rich solution designed to revolutionize power management in automotive electronics. This cutting-edge IC acts as a Swiss Army Knife of features, offering a wide range of capabilities to address the complex power management needs of modern vehicles.

At its core, the SPSB081 features a main fixed-voltage low-dropout regulator (LDO) that provides stable power to critical vehicle components. In addition, it includes a secondary programmable LDO, four high-side drivers, a CAN FD transceiver, and an optional LIN transceiver, making it a comprehensive solution for power management and communication in automotive applications.

One of the standout features of the SPSB081 is its ability to operate in multiple standby modes with ultra-low quiescent current. This ensures efficient power utilization, helping to minimize power consumption and extend the lifespan of the vehicle’s battery.

The integration of power sources and transceivers directly on-chip simplifies the design of car-body controllers for various functions, including sunroofs, seats, tailgates, doors, and lighting modules. Moreover, its adaptability extends its usability beyond the basics. Automotive engineers find value in the SPSB081 for a wide range of applications, including gateways, HVAC controllers, passive keyless entry systems, telematic control units, and control panels.

The SPSB081 is available in multiple variants to meet diverse application requirements. The SPSB081C3 and SPSB081C5 variants feature a 3.3V or 5V fixed LDO, respectively, with one CAN transceiver. For applications demanding even more versatility, the SPSB0813 and SPSB0815 variants include an additional LIN transceiver. Notably, the secondary LDO, present in all variants, can be programmed through the IC’s SPI port to function as an independent 3.3V or 5V regulator or to track the main LDO, providing engineers with flexibility in power management.

For applications requiring high precision and control, the SPSB081 offers four high-side drivers capable of sourcing up to 140mA, making them suitable for powering LEDs and sensors. Each channel includes current monitoring and a 10-bit PWM timer, enhancing the control and monitoring capabilities of the system.

Safety is paramount in automotive electronics, and the SPSB081 doesn’t disappoint. It comes with extensive built-in protection mechanisms, including overcurrent protection and open-load fault indication for all outputs. The primary (fixed) LDO features overvoltage protection and thermal protection circuitry, while the secondary (programmable) LDO offers protection against overload, overtemperature, short-circuit, and reverse-bias conditions. Both LDOs include short-to-ground monitoring at startup and continuous regulator-failure monitoring, ensuring the integrity of the power supply.

The SPSB081 family has been rigorously tested and is AEC-Q100 qualified, making it suitable for use in automotive applications where reliability and performance are critical. The devices are specified to operate in a wide temperature range from -40°C to 150°C and can withstand temperatures of up to 175°C.

Engineers and automotive manufacturers will find the SPSB081 family of automotive power-management ICs to be a versatile and reliable solution for addressing the complex power management and communication needs of modern vehicles. These ICs are currently in production and available in a thermally enhanced 5mm x 5mm x 1mm QFN32L package, with pricing starting at $1.80 for orders of 1000 pieces.

STMicroelectronics continues to drive innovation in the automotive semiconductor industry, enabling advanced features, improved efficiency, and enhanced safety in vehicles worldwide.

What is CAN FD transceiver

CAN FD (Controller Area Network Flexible Data-Rate) transceiver is a type of hardware component used in automotive and industrial communication networks. It facilitates communication between microcontrollers, sensors, and other electronic devices within a network, particularly in automotive applications. CAN FD is an extension of the traditional CAN (Controller Area Network) protocol, designed to provide greater flexibility and efficiency in transmitting data.

Key features of CAN FD transceivers include:

Higher Data Rates: CAN FD supports higher data rates compared to traditional CAN. While traditional CAN typically operates at data rates up to 1 Mbps (megabit per second), CAN FD can achieve data rates of up to 8 Mbps or more. This increased bandwidth is particularly beneficial for applications that require faster data transmission.

Flexible Data Length: Unlike traditional CAN, which has a fixed frame length for data, CAN FD allows for variable data frame lengths. This flexibility is essential for accommodating different data payloads, making it suitable for applications with varying data size requirements.

Backward Compatibility: CAN FD transceivers are designed to be backward compatible with traditional CAN networks. This means that they can coexist with older CAN devices and communication protocols, making it easier to upgrade existing systems.

Efficient Data Transfer: CAN FD optimizes data transfer efficiency by reducing overhead and improving the use of available bandwidth. This efficiency is crucial for applications that demand real-time data exchange and low-latency communication.

Error Detection and Correction: CAN FD transceivers include error detection and correction mechanisms to ensure data integrity. They can detect errors such as bit errors and frame errors and take corrective actions to maintain reliable communication.

Extended Temperature Range: Many CAN FD transceivers are designed to operate in a wide temperature range, making them suitable for use in automotive and industrial environments where temperature fluctuations can be significant.

In automotive applications, CAN FD is commonly used for various functions, including engine control, transmission control, infotainment systems, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and more. The higher data rates and flexible data frame lengths provided by CAN FD help meet the growing data communication requirements of modern vehicles.

Overall, CAN FD transceivers are essential components in modern communication networks, especially in sectors like automotive, industrial automation, and other applications where robust and efficient data exchange is critical.

Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.