The Li-ion battery power system for the next-generation electric vehicle (EV) “i-MiEV” from Mitshubishi will be supported by the digital isolators iCoupler from Analog Devices. Mitsubishi Motors describes the vehicle as )”the ultimate eco-car that produces no CO2 emissions”. Fully electrically powered, Mitsubishi claims the i-MiEV to have a single-charge range of 160 km. It features a three-way charging system that allows a driver to charge the battery at home with 100 V or 200 V or at a remote quick-charge station. In consequence, the i-MiEV has won several awards and will be introduced in Japan during calendar year 2010.
Picture credits: Analog Devices
Instead of LEDs and photodiodes used in optocouplers, the iCoupler devices are based on chip-scale transformers, which may ensure higher data rates, lower power consumption, and more stability over the life time of the system. By fabricating the transformers using wafer-level processing, iCoupler channels can be integrated with each other and other semiconductor functions at low cost. Also the transformers are planar structures formed from CMOS and gold metal layers. A high breakdown polyimide layer underneath the gold layer insulates the top transformer coil from the bottom. CMOS circuits connected to the top coil and bottom coil provide the interface between each transformer and its external signals. Automotive grade versions are qualified for 125 ° C operation per AEC-Q100.