Samsung Introduces Dedicated Power ICs for Wireless Earbuds

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  • Samsung informed that these are industry’s first all-in-one all-in-one power management integrated circuits true wireless devices
  • The new PMICs from Samsung can communicate with each other over the charging pins
  • The size of the global market for true wireless hearables reached 33 million units (USD 4.1 billion) in Q3 2019
Samsung All-in-one PMIC for wireless hearables

Samsung Electronics has announced the industry’s first all-in-one power management integrated circuits (PMIC), MUA01 and MUB01. The company said that these are optimised for today’s true wireless stereo (TWS) devices.

“TWS earbuds present elevated listening experiences for more users and the trend is rapidly expanding the mobile accessory market, creating new opportunities for device manufacturers. Samsung’s industry-first, all-in-one power management solutions optimized for TWS devices will allow manufacturers to craft new applications with greater flexibility,” said Dong-ho Shin, senior vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics.

The size of the global market for true wireless hearables, as per a Counterpoint Research Report, reached 33 million units (USD 4.1 billion) in Q3 2019. Geographically, the US accounted for 31 per cent of the global market and exceeded 10 million units for the first time in a single quarter. China, as per the report, has recently expanded remarkably and grew 44 per cent QoQ in Q3.

Separate PMICs for charging cases and earbuds

The MUA01 and MUB01 PMICs, respectively, have been designed for the charging case and the earbuds, and are one-of-a-kind fully-integrated solutions optimized for TWS devices. “By combining several of the company’s in-house logic technologies, Samsung was able to integrate up to ten discrete components into one, including switching chargers and discharge circuits, enabling the PMICs to occupy less than half the space compared to previous alternatives. The compact solutions can allot more room to the battery for longer playback time and enable more flexible and efficient designs,” read Samsung’s official statement.

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It continued, “The MUA01 is also the industry’s first solution to support both wireless and wired charging in a single chip. For wireless charging, it supports the Wireless Power Consortium’s (WPC) Qi 1.2.4, the consortium’s latest wireless power transfer interface standard. To provide efficient power management, the MUA01 integrates a highly effective switching charger. In addition, MUA01 comes with a microcontroller unit (MCU) and embedded Flash (eFlash), offering the option of modifying its firmware to support other applications.”

With power line communication (PLC) support, the new PMICs can communicate with each other over the charging pins. This, as per Samsung, allows the charging case and earpieces to share essential information such as battery levels and whether the earpieces are inserted in the case. Samsung informed that the MUA01 and MUB01 are currently in mass production.

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