Octal load-control switches simplify automotive designs

Austin, Tex.—Providing versatile and board-efficient power distribution, Freescale Semiconductor's MC338xx and MC3399x octal serial switch ICs for automotive electronics control up to sixteen loads.

“Freescale's octal serial switch family is taking automotive power distribution to a new level of versatility,” said Arman Naghavi, vice president and general manager of the Analog, Mixed-Signal and Power Division. “As the need to control multiple DC loads grows increasingly common, the ability to configure multiple outputs quickly and efficiently has become a sought-after feature. Our serial switch family, with up to 16 outputs and advanced self-configuration
capabilities, effectively addresses this technical challenge.”

These high-side/low-side (MC33879/80), and low-side (MC33996/99) switches significantly reduce the number of necessary components, according to the company, and substantially simplify body electronics designs while boosting flexibility and load protection. In typical operation, they're used to control low-current on/off type inductive loads, such as relays and solenoids, as well as LED indicators and small lamps. The chips feature drivers with diagnostic capability, over-temperature and over- and under-voltage protection, and load current capability of up to 2.5 amps (peak) per channel. The chip's serial peripheral interface (SPI), which allows for expandable control via daisy chaining, links directly with 3.3- or 5-volt microcontrollers.

Click here to access the products' datasheets. The chips, available in 32- and 54-pin SOICs, have a suggested resale price of $1.83 for the MC33879 (high-side/low-side, 8-channel single octal serial switch, 2-input PWM control, 16-bit SPI for control and fault reporting); $2.01 for the MC33880 (high-side/low-side 8-channel single octal, 8-bit SPI, higher current capability); $2.75 for the MC33996 (low-side 16-channel dual octal, PWM control, 24-bit SPI); and $3.48 for the MC33999 (low-side 16-channel dual octal, 24-bit SPI, PWM control as well as provision for direct 8-input PWM control), all in 10k quantities.

Freescale Semiconductor , 1-800-521-6274,

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