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National Semiconductor Introduces Integrated Power Management Devices with Dynamic Voltage Scaling

Controlled via a Digital Interface, These Space Efficient, Multi-channel Devices Maximize Performance of Next-generation Multimedia Processors

Mar 20, 2006

March 20, 2006 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today introduced a flexible power management unit (PMU) and highly integrated DC-DC converter to its family of digitally programmable, multiple-output power management devices.  The LP3971 PMU and LM3370 dual-channel, step-down DC-DC converter feature a digital I2C compatible interface that enables design engineers to customize electrical specifications such as output voltage and switching modes to the end application.  The digital interface provides the flexibility to use the same device for multiple solutions that require different output voltages, as well as to maximize power savings in the end application.

The highly-integrated LP3971 flexible PMU and LM3370 DC-DC converter both include buck regulators that provide more than 90 percent efficiency over the entire load current range.  Power consumption is further minimized through a dynamic voltage-scaling feature that enables the design engineer to modify the output voltage in real time to match the computing workload and clock frequencies of the corresponding processors.  The end result is longer battery life in energy-sensitive systems such as cell phones and personal media players.

"The digital programmability and efficiency of National's new power management devices are ideal for the Intel® XScale® microarchitecture.  They also support the advanced power management modes of Intel's newest application processor platform family (codename Monahans), which enables longer talk time and extended run time for emerging multimedia applications or services," said Mark Casey, general manager of Intel's Applications Processor Business Unit.

The LP3971 flexible PMU is a fully integrated solution for next-generation multimedia processors.  The LP3971’s digital programmability and extensive features offer a comprehensive, yet extremely simple-to-use, power solution for multi-domain digital systems.  The LM3370 dual-channel, step-down DC-DC converter complements the LP3971 flexible PMU by offering a standalone programmable solution.  Two digitally-controlled buck regulators in the LM3370 can be used in conjunction with National’s LP3990 and LP5900 linear regulators to offer a flexible and customized power domain.

“While manufacturers such as Intel continually reduce the power consumption of their line of processors, National’s goal is to extend this energy conservation by combining the highest conversion efficiency with an advanced feature set in the power management device,” said Gianluca Colli, business unit director in National Semiconductor’s Power Management Division.

Technical Features of National’s LP3971 PMU
The LP3971 PMU integrates three high efficient, 1600mA programmable buck converters and six programmable LDOs that enable it to meet the dynamic power requirements of system-on-chips, such as Intel XScale processors.  The LP3971 is available in a small, 40-pin LLP® package that measures 5 mm x 5 mm x 0.8 mm.

The LP3971 has an input range of 2.7V to 5.5V and output voltage ranges of 0.8V to 3.3V for the buck regulators and 1V to 3.3V for the LDOs.  With efficiency equal to that obtained with a switching regulator, two of the LDOs can be used as post regulators with low input voltage and a small drop from input to output.

The dynamic, wide-output voltage range allows the LP3971 to achieve maximum flexibility across many application processors and different application needs.  For programming the regulator settings of the LP3971, the I2C compatible interface with software control is included in the evaluation kit.  Additional features of the LP3971 include a backup battery charger, power-on-reset function to protect the processor from input voltage fluctuations and ability for the processor to control the enable and disable of the regulators over the I2C compatible interface.

Technical Features of National’s LM3370 DC-DC Converter
Packaged in a very small, 16-pin LLP package that measures 4 mm x 5mm x 0.8 mm, the LM3370 DC-DC converter supplies a 600 mA load per channel at highly efficient levels.  The excellent efficiency is accomplished by intelligent automatic switching between PWM and PFM mode.  The addition of industry-leading quiescent current of 16 uA per channel in PFM mode provides the longest battery life for battery-powered devices.  The output voltage range is 1V to 2V for the first output and 1.8V to 3.3V for the second output.  The output voltages can be stepped up or down in 50 mV and 100 mV steps respectively using the I2C interface.  Additional features of the LM3370 include a power-on-reset function to protect the processor from voltage fluctuations and independent enables for simple and effective power sequencing.

For more information on the LP3971 and LM3370 or to order samples, visit http://www.national.com/pf/LP/LP3971.html and http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LM3370.html.  For more information on National’s portable power products, visit http://power.national.com.

About National’s Power Management Products
National Semiconductor is the number one supplier of power management ICs with 14.1 percent market share, according to iSuppli’s 2005 voltage regulator/reference survey.  National’s power management revenue grew 37.3 percent in 2004 over the previous year, compared to 24 percent growth for the industry.  National's innovative power management products include best-in-class linear regulators; power monitoring, control and reference ICs; and switching converters, such as high-voltage ICs for DC-DC conversion, switched capacitor converters, lighting management ICs and inductive switching converters.  National also offers online tools that enable power designers to select the best power management chips for their applications.  National's WEBENCH® design tool allows designers to choose a product, create and analyze a design, and then build custom prototypes that can be delivered within 24 hours.

Availability and Pricing
The LP3971 and LM3370 are available now.  The LP3971 is priced at $4.00 each and the LM3370 is priced at $2.10 each in 1,000-unit quantities.

For more information on National’s power management products, visit http://power.national.com.  To view a high-resolution downloadable photo of these products, visit National's photo gallery at http://www.national.com/company/pressroom/gallery/power.html.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high-value analog devices and subsystems.  National's leading-edge products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key analog markets include wireless handsets, displays and a variety of broad electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.91 billion for fiscal 2005, which ended May 29, 2005.  Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com