Power management integrated circuits (power management ICs or PMICs) are integrated circuits that perform different functions related to power management. They may have one or more functions including DC to DC conversion, battery charging, power-source selection, voltage scaling, power sequencing, and miscellaneous functions. PMICs control the flow and direction of electrical power. Electrical devices contain internal voltages and sources of external power. PMICs usually incorporate multiple functions into one IC to increase efficiency, decrease size, and create better heat dissipation.
Powervation Ltd. is a semiconductor company that develops digital power integrated circuit system-on-chip solutions. They are used for cloud computing, communication, and high-performance power system designers. They use a multiprocessor SoC architecture for digital power management solutions. The multiprocessor has a proprietary dual-core (DSP and RISC) processor, RAM and Sidense one-time-programmable (OTP) memory, power conversion blocks, and serial interfaces.
The Sidense 1T-OTP stores firmware and DSP code, and security codes, design, and user-specific configuration parameters for the voltage regulator. OTP data is loaded to RAM once the power is turned on. This allows quick access to the processing unit. Some of the other memory options are non-volatile memory such as flash, separate off-chip memory, and read-only memory (ROM).
The benefit of using OTP memory over the other types of memory is that it is smaller and has no additional wafer processing steps. The processor’s firmware is fixed with ROM and any change in content costs time and money. Flash memory is power-intensive and susceptible to corruption. OTP memory not only decreases the time and cost of derivative products but is also capable of handling software modifications and therefore increases the processor’s flexibility. Unlike any other form of memory, only OTP is the only memory that is durable enough to deal with the requirements of power management and other such applications.
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