Fuel Gauges to Enhance Runtime

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These battery characterisation-free solutions can help designers improve runtime and prevent unexpected shutdowns

The MAX17260 and MAX17261 ModelGauge m5 EZ fuel gauges by Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. may help designers in improving runtime and user experience. These battery solutions are characterisation-free and aim at providing accuracy with benefits of size and design.

A possible solution to sudden shutdowns

Technology developments have caused consumers to increase their dependency on wireless and battery-powered devices. This can propose designers with a challenge of enhancing user experience without affecting battery runtimes. The recently launched fuel gauges can help designers tackle these problems by preventing premature or sudden device shutdowns.

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With devices increasing their power density and less accuracy often leading to high battery capacity and large physical dimensions, the size and accuracy of the fuel gauges intend to help designers in a range of applications such as handheld gaming systems, remote controls, smart home devices and USB Type-C portable devices.

Managing limits on battery size

The fuel gauges, which are housed in an ultra-small 1.5mm x 1.5mm package, feature a quiescent current of 5.1µA to lessen draining the battery during long periods of standby time. The products may also let designers avoid battery characterization or calibration.

This characterisation-free attribute of the fuel gauges removes the limit on battery size. MAX17260 offers a high-side Rsense option to simplify ground-plane design and MAX17261 offers a flexible switched resistor divider option to support multiple series cells.

The gauges also provide simple battery information for end users such as time to empty, time to full under current, as well as hypothetical load conditions. Reported to be equipped with dynamic power technology, the devices can prevent battery crashing, making them likely to address the market need for fuel gauges.

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