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  Date: 01/09/2013

Maxim's digital isolator based ref design eliminates optocouplers

Maxim says designers now have a way to reduce power, system cost, and size for programmable logic controller (PLC) digital-input subsystems, with its Corona reference design . This design reduces isolated channels and leverages analog integration for industrial control and automation applications, according to Maxim.

Below are the other points from the Maxim's release:
One method of reducing the size of I/O solutions in PLCs is to reduce the number of digital channels that need to be isolated. Integrating three Maxim products including a transformer driver, the Corona design reduces isolated channels and eliminates the need for power-hungry optocouplers and discrete parts. These savings reduce power by 16%, solution size by 38%, and cost by 23%. Maxim's devices used in Corona are designed specifically for harsh industrial environments with operating temperature ranges from -40C to +125C, so they are ideal for use in PLCs and other automation applications.
Key Advantages
Analog integration: reduces isolation channels to four while Maxim's digital isolator eliminates the need for optoisolators; optimized for 16, 24, and 32 input channel designs, the digital input serializer's SPI busses can be daisy-chained to further reduce isolation channel count, leading to increased savings
Lower power: best-in-class power consumption; uses 16% less power than the traditional design approach
Lower cost: uses 38 fewer parts than a traditional design to create a less expensive integrated solution
Smaller size: provides 51% fewer components than a traditional design.
Corona's Integrated Products
MAX31911: industrial, octal, digital input translator/serializer delivers best-in-class power consumption and reduces component count on the board
MAX14850: 6-channel digital isolator enables low power consumption and stable high-temperature performance; UL1577, CSA, IEC 60747-5-2 safety certified. Replaces optoisolators, which have limited LED lifespan, with a 5x longer life solution
MAX13256: 36V H-bridge transformer driver simplifies isolated power designs

"The MAX31911 incorporated in Corona uses up to 80% less supply current compared to the competition," said Tony Partow, Senior Business Manager at Maxim Integrated. "This demonstrates our expertise in analog integration, coupled with our state-of-the-art high-voltage semiconductor process technologies. Corona is one example of how our reference designs accelerate the design process, while also providing innovative solutions."

"Reference designs are increasingly important as designers seek to develop sophisticated solutions and reduce development cycle times," said Susie Inouye, Research Director and Founder of Databeans.

Availability and Pricing
Complete reference design available in a 90mm x 20mm Pmod form factor.
Pricing for Corona starts at $45 (FOB USA).

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