Growing up, whenever I heard the name Texas Instruments, I’d immediately think of a calculator. Now that I’ve been embedded in the business of portable electronics for some time, I think of their OMAP processors. Looks like I might have to adjust that perception as well. The crew at Texas Instruments has just announced “the industry’s lowest input voltage DC/DC boost converter, which will enable portable electronic end-equipment to draw power from new energy sources.”
That all sounds like Greek to me, but from what I can gather, this new “boost converter” will be able to draw power from alternative sources, like solar and micro-fuel cells, and translate it into something that our favorite portable gizmos can use. It can work with even the lowest of input voltages, which is supposed to be a big plus for designers looking to overcome that hump.
Portable equipment implementing the new TPS61200 step-up converter will be able to enjoy extended battery life, even if it is normally powered by standard single-cell alkaline, NiCd, or NiMH batteries.