20 Sep 2017

Increase software power-measurement accuracy

Microchip has announced the immediate availability of a precision power- and energy-monitoring chip. The PAC1934 works in conjunction with a Microchip software driver that is fully compatible with the Energy Estimation Engine (E3) built into the Windows 10 operating system to provide 99 percent accuracy on all battery-powered Windows 10 devices.

Combining Microchip’s PAC1934 and Windows 10 driver with Microsoft’s E3 service can improve the measurement of battery usage from different software applications by up to 29 percent.

The PAC1934 is designed to measure voltage rails as low as 0V and as high as 32V. It is this ability that allows the chip to accurately measure power usage from simple Core Processing Unit (CPU) tasks all the way up to software running on devices that connect through a USB Type-C connector. The PAC1934 is a four-channel device with 16-bit power measurement and a 17-minute plus accumulation register, making it ideal for determining power consumption and energy usage without the need for voltage or current range adjustments.

The device has capabilities that could also make it an integral part in future software upgrades. Through bidirectional measurement, with the ability to measure both battery charging and battery discharge, the PAC1934 is well suited for upcoming USB Type-C charging topologies as they are developed and become more widely used. In addition, the device functions as a standard high-side current sensor for use in server, networking, automotive and industrial applications. Microchip is also actively working to support the PAC1934 in Linux for various applications.

The PAC1934 power-monitoring IC is available now for sampling and in volume production.

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