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Ricoh launches R5601, 3-5 Cell Li-Ion/Li-Polymer Battery Protection Analog Front-End IC for Power Tools

Amstelveen, the Netherlands, September 07, 2016 - Ricoh Europe (Netherlands) B.V. Semiconductor Support Centre has launched a new Analog Front-End (AFE) Integrated Circuit (IC), the R5601. The new addition to Ricoh’s battery management ICs portfolio is designed for Lithium-ion or Lithium-polymer battery packs of three up to five cells in series. Applications include cordless power tools, robot vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and electrical bikes.

Traditional stand-alone protection ICs have internally fixed hardware settings for various monitoring thresholds that decide to interrupt the charge or discharge process and control the external dual MOSFET. The advantage of an AFE IC versus a stand-alone protection IC is the flexible concept enabling short time to the market. An AFE IC is a measurement device of which the results are forwarded to a MCU (microcontroller unit). The fact that all threshold settings are saved within the software of the MCU and software settings are easily adaptable means a significant advantage. Therefore, an AFE IC is more convenient to use as a standard measurement IC for various battery pack designs.Ricoh`s R5601 T Battery Protection Analog Front-End IC for Power Tools

The R5601 AFE IC and MCU are able to communicate through a 2 wire I2C interface. The designer can control or monitor various functions by software and select from three operating modes:

  • Normal operation mode: all IC functions are operational, 36µA supply current
  • Low consumption mode: some internal functions disabled to achieve 6.5µA supply current
  • Standby mode: operation mode with 2.5µA supply current

The wake up function assures that the R5601 starts operating from a low power mode in the normal operation mode when load current is detected.

Each individual cell voltage as well as the pack current can be measured. The analog results are amplified and forwarded through the voltage monitoring and current monitoring output pin. The MCU is able to measure the cell voltage and current by using an external analog to digital converter (ADC). The R5601 provides the required high accurate reference voltage for the ADC circuit. An internal voltage regulator is embedded to provide a supply voltage to the MCU.

The Alert output provides a notification to the microcontroller when detecting a fault event. The software can obtain a more detailed description of this fault event from the internal registers.

Embedded MOSFET switches take care of cell balancing, making sure that each cell has an equal voltage level. If needed, the charge or discharge process will be interrupted to initiate the cell balancing process and resumes automatically the previous process when completed.

As an additional safety protection, an internal thermal shutdown circuit is integrated within the IC to detect a thermal overload.

The R5601 is available in a TSSOP-16 package.

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Ricoh is a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ending March 2014, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,236 billion yen (approx. 21.7 billion USD).

The majority of the company's revenue comes from products, solutions and services that improve the interaction between people and information. Ricoh also produces award-winning digital cameras and specialized industrial products. It is known for the quality of its technology, the exceptional standard of its customer service and sustainability initiatives.

Under its corporate tagline, imagine, change, Ricoh helps companies transform the way they work and harness the collective imagination of their employees.

In March 2001 Ricoh Europe (Netherlands) B.V. established the Semiconductor Support Centre to represent the services of Ricoh Electronics Devices Company Japan in Europe. The Semiconductor Support Centre supports European distributors and electronics designers and manufacturers with their applications or other enquiries for Power Management and Real Time Clock ICs.

In July 2013 Ricoh Electronics Devices Company became ISO / TS16949:2009 certified; it is an important additional improvement of our quality management system for the design, development and manufacturing of semiconductor products for the automotive market.

For further information, please visit our Semiconductor product website