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Ultra Low Power Microcontroller Backup Using the EnerChip™ CC

Introduction

Cymbet EnerChips are solid state rechargable batteries having distinguishing characteristics compared to conventional rechargeable batteries. EnerChips have a high charge/discharge cylce life; low self-discharge; simple voltage controlled charging; flat discharge voltage profile; have no flammable solvents to leak or catch fire; are solder reflow tolerant; and are offered in low profile surface mount packages.

The EnerChip CC is a surface mount package containing a rechargeable solid state battery - the EnerChip - with integrated battery management that includes charge control, discharge cutoff circuitry, and a battery switchover (i.e., supply supervisory) function. EnerChips are used in applications requiring backup, bridging, or transition power to maintain real-time clock operation or SRAM data retention in the event of main power interruption; wireless sensing as the main power source when energy can be harvested from the ambient power and used to constantly trickle charge the EnerChip; and as a power source to perform housekeeping for microcontrollers (MCUs) and peripherals when main power is interrupted, to ensure an orderly shutdown or transition to low power modes..

In MCU-based applications demanding ultra low power consumption, it is essential to reduce or eliminate the power drawn by components peripheral to the MCU. This Application Note describes a method to completely eliminate the power drawn by the EnerChip CC integrated battery management circuitry when the system is in the normal operating mode. This approach enables a backup battery solution that does not draw power when in normal run mode, thus maximizing the main battery life in battery powered systems.

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