Tag Archives: touch display

Optimizing charge cycles and battery life

Bits & Pieces has been on a roll this week with an automotive theme in honor of the latest additions to Atmel’s touch family: the mXT336S and mXT224S. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how Atmel optimizes automotive charge cycles and battery life with its MCUs.

As automotive enthusiasts know, Li-ion technology is currently the first choice for modern high-performance batteries. To be sure, Li-ion batteries are up to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than conventional NiMH batteries – yet manage to store significantly more energy.

However, while the batteries do offer concrete advantages in terms of size, weight, recharge speed and resistance to memory effects, Li-ion has a higher cost compared to other battery types. Of course, this can definitely be improved by using a battery management system like Atmel’s which optimizes battery performance.

“Our Li-ion battery management solution offers high accuracy analog measurement functions in combination with efficient active cell balancing ensuring optimum usage of battery capacity,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces. “Specifically, the megaAVR, ATmega32HVE2 and ATmega64HVE2 microcontrollers (MCUs) can be used to improve the performance and longevity of 12V standard lead-acid batteries.”

As the engineering rep notes, the above-mentioned MCUs are designed for intelligent battery sensor applications – with the devices determining the state of charge and state of health for 12V standard lead-acid batteries by measuring the battery voltage, current and temperature.

“For cars with idle-stop-go function, this feature is mandatory to retain sufficient battery energy for a guaranteed engine start,” the engineering rep added. “Combined with the Atmel ATA6870 Li-ion battery monitor IC, it forms an ideal system solution for replacing 12V standard lead-acid batteries with Li-ion batteries.”

Additional key features of an Atmel-powered battery management system and components include:

  • Active balancing – The industry’s first to feature active cell balancing for high cell count Li-ion batteries to prevent energy loss.
  • Maximum safety – Highest accuracy due to simultaneous cell voltage measurement of the cells in the entire battery stack leading to precise state-of-charge and state-of health calculations.
  • Smart sensing – Allows engineers to measure the battery voltage, current and temperature with up to 18-bit accuracy.
  • Valuable development tools – PC-controlled development kits help devs easily build a battery management system and get the most of the battery management devices.

Interested in learning more? Detailed information about using Atmel’s powered system can be found here.

QTouch Capacitive Touch Controllers Receive UL Certification

Atmel has achieved certification for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 60730-1, a standard for automatic electrical controls for household and similar use, for the AT42QT1244/5 and AT42QT1481 capacitive touch controllers. With UL certification, household appliance OEMs can achieve system-level certification faster for products that include touch displays and controls developed with these devices.

Atmel is the first company to receive a functional safety certification for the Class B and C requirements related to control functions for ICs with capacitive touch capabilities for button, slider and wheel functionality. Our AT42QT1244/5 and AT42QT1481 controllers are ideal for appliances including stovetops, microwave ovens, coffee makers, washers and dryers.