Power management IC eases hearing aids design

October 22, 2015 // By Julien Happich
ON Semiconductor's HPM10 Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) and Ezairo 7150 SL wireless-enabled audio processor are aimed at the hearing aids market.

The Ezairo 7150 SL uses the company’s widely-implemented proprietary DSP technology and brings wireless connectivity to hearing aids and cochlear implants. The compact hybrid module is based on the Ezairo 7100 open-programmable 24 bit mixed-signal DSP platform, offering a System in Package (SiP) solution supporting wireless multi-protocol operation and optimized for 2.4GHz band applications, including Bluetooth Low-Energy. Ezairo 7150 SL integrates EA2M, a low power 2 Mb serial CMOS EEPROM used for storing hearing aid firmware and important parameters.

The HPM10 chip generates the voltage needed by the hearing aid and it also manages the charging algorithms such that the battery autonomy and the number of charging cycles are optimized. The rechargeable chemistries supported include silver−zinc (AgZn), and lithium−ion (Li−ion).

HPM10 also detects zinc−air (Zn−Air) and nickel metal hydride (Ni-Mh) batteries but doesn’t charge them. During operation, HPM10’s high efficiency power regulators help minimize lost power from the battery to the hearing aid. HPM10’s built-in charger communication interface (CCIF) can pass data to the hearing aid charger during the charging process. Battery parameters such as voltage levels, current levels, temperature and different forms of battery failures can also be communicated. Different charging parameters, representative of battery size and type, can be stored in the HPM10’s on-chip one-time programmable (OTP) memory.

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