TI switch to help cut PC size

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 December, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 December, 1994, 12:00am

TEXAS Instruments (TI) has introduced a new power switching device for electronic components that is expected to help reduce the size of notebook computers.

The device, called the TPS2201IDF, can independently switch the power supplied to one or two PC cards between three volts, five volts and 12 volts.

Unlike other PC card power switches that need a 12-volt power supply to operate, the TI model can internally change the voltages needed to drive individual system components.

This also allows the 12-volt power supply to be shut down and only used when that voltage level is required for writing and erasing flash memory.

This feature can greatly extend the operating battery life of portable systems.

In some cases, designers of notebook computers, personal digital assistant, digital cameras, barcode scanners and other portable systems can eliminate more than 12 devices - significantly reducing the amount of space needed for power switching.

The TI device also saves board space by integrating current and thermal protection circuitry - eliminating the need for external fuses to protect the host system from shorts and thermal problems in faulty PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card Industry Association) cards, for example.

By automatically informing the host system of card power faults, the device's current reporting capability can prevent rapid battery discharge by a damaged card.

It is compatible with PCMCIA controllers from major vendors including, Cirrus and Intel.

A new low-voltage transistor was used in its manufacturing process to integrate the external power transistors.