Linear Technology Corporation, now a part of Analog Devices, Inc., has recently placed on the market a power monitoring IC, LTC2992, which offers a wide-range, dual monitoring system for current, voltage, and power for 0-100 VDC rails. The IC is self-contained and does not need additional circuitry for functioning.
Users get a variety of options for operating the LTC2992. For instance, they can derive power from a 3-100 VDC monitored supply, or from a 2.7-100 VDC secondary supply, or from the shunt regulator on-board. Therefore, when monitoring the 0-100 VDC rail, the designer does not have to provide a separate buck regulator, a shunt regulator, or an inefficient resistive divider.
Within the LTC2992 are a multiplier and three Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) of the delta-sigma type. Two of the ADCs provide measurements for current in each supply, while the third ADC measures voltage in 8- or 12-bit resolution and power in 24-bit resolution. The wide operating range of the LTC2992 makes it an ideal IC for several applications such as blade servers, advanced mezzanine cards, and 48 V telecom equipment.
Users with equipment using negative supply or supply greater than 100 VDC can make use of the onboard shunt regulator. The LTC2992 has registers that one can access with the I2C bus, and it uses these registers to store the measured values. It can measure current and voltage on-demand or continuously, using these to calculate the power, and stores this information along with maximum and minimum values in the registers.
The LTC2992 has four GPIO pins, which the user can configure as ADC inputs for measuring neighboring auxiliary voltages. Over its entire temperature range, the LTC2992 takes measurements with only ±0.3% of the Total Unadjusted Error (TUE). For any parameter going beyond the thresholds programmed by the user, the LTC2992 raises an alert flag in the specified register and on the specified pin. This is according to the alert response protocol of the SMBus.
The I2C bus on the LTC2992 operates at 400 kHz and features nine device addresses, a reset timer for a stuck bus, and a split SDA pin for simplifying the opto-isolation for the I2C. Another version of the IC, the LTC2992-1 offers users an inverted data output pin for the I2C. This makes it easy for the users to interface the IC where the opto-isolator has an inverting configuration.
The ICs, LTC2992 and LTC2992-1, are both available in automotive, industrial, and commercial versions. Their operating temperature ranges are -40°C to 125°C for automotive, -40°C to 85°C for industrial, and 0°C to 70°C for commercial applications. Linear Technology Corporation makes both versions of the IC in packages of 16-lead MSOP and 16-lead 4 x 3 mm DFN, and both versions are RoHS-compliant.
Most electronic applications require monitoring of current, voltage, and power at board level. Knowing the key system parameters provides valuable feedback, allowing users to monitor the health of their systems and make intelligent decisions. They help in determining whether a system is operating properly, efficiently, or even dangerously. Users can choose for various types of monitoring ICs, ranging from hot-swap dedicated power ICs to temperature monitors.