On February 6, 2013, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) launched the TC7710WBG. What is that you ask? It is an integrated circuit (IC) that is USB ready and designed to charge Li-Ion batteries. Basically, it was created to increase the charging speed of the batteries on portable devices.
In a press release from Toshiba, it was highlighted how today's rechargeable battery technology is lagging behind advancing processor technology. As a result, current charger solutions require users to charge their smartphones and other mobile devices more frequently or for longer periods of time. There was a time when the “hours in use” or “standby” times were reliable, whether you are talking about a laptop or smartphone. However, with all of the processing that these devices perform as well as the amount of use that they get, these days I find that I have to plug everything in and charge them more often.
The Toshiba TC7710WBG charger IC is supposed to solve this problem through its efficient switching regulator core that maximizes power efficiency, passive component sizes and thermal management for heat dissipation. The device is a programmable lithium-ion and lithium-polymer battery charger, and leverages the Toshiba 0.13um mixed-signal process to achieve one of the lowest Rdson*Qg characteristics in the industry. It delivers optimum charging of batteries and is well suited for demanding DC-DC converter applications.
Andrew Burt, who is the vice president of the Analog and Imaging Business Unit, System LSI Group at TAEC commented, "The charging current capability, efficiency, and form factor of the TC7710WBG make it ideal for today's battery hungry mobile devices. Toshiba will continue to leverage its advanced process technology and engineering expertise to deliver a family of charger ICs that keep pace with the unique battery requirements of smartphones and mobile devices, so end users can experience longer, more productive use time with these products."
The design of the TC7710WBG is intended to protect system and battery circuitry. The input current comes from a five volt USB adaptor and this voltage is delivered to the Li-Ion battery through the TC7710WBG switching regulator. The device has an I2C interface that allows various parameter settings such as charging current and profile selection. In addition, the I2C (eye-squared cee) interface is a multi-master serial single-ended computer bus invented by Philips that is used to attach low-speed peripherals to motherboards, embedded systems, cell phones, or other electronic devices.
The TC7710WBG also supports the USB On-the-Go (OTG) standard to power a peripheral USB device, such as a handheld (pico) projector, from the battery.
TAEC will begin to sample the TC7710WBG next month in March with mass production expected to begin in May 2013.