Tiny Wireless Charger Optimized for Hearing Aid Applications

Wireless powerLinear Technology has introduced a wireless charging receiver which has been optimized for low power applications. The LTC4123 combines a 30mW wireless receiver with a constant current/constant­voltage linear charger for NiMH batteries, such as Varta’s power one ACCU plus series. An external resonant LC tank connected to the chip enables the IC to receive power wirelessly from an alternating magnetic field generated by a transmit coil. Integrated power management circuitry converts the coupled AC current into the DC current required to charge the battery.

The LTC4123 can be used for Wireless charging of a completely sealed product and eliminates the need to constantly replace primary batteries. Zn­Air (Zinc­Air) detection allows applications to work interchangeably with both rechargeable NiMH batteries and primary Zn­Air batteries with the same application circuit. Both battery types can directly power a hearing aid ASIC without the need for additional voltage conversion. By contrast, a 3.7V Li­ion battery requires a step­down regulator in addition to the LTC4123’s functionality to power the ASIC.

The LTC4123 rectifies AC power from the receive coil, and can also accept a 2.2V to 5V input to power a full featured constant­current/constant­voltage battery charger. Features of the charger include programmable charge current up to 25mA, a single­cell 1.5V battery charge voltage with ±0.5% accuracy, charge status indication and an on-board safety charge termination timer. A temperature­compensated charge voltage protects the NiMH battery and prevents overcharging. The LTC4123 prevents charging when batteries are inserted with reverse polarity and pauses charging if the temperature becomes too hot or too cold. The receiver is housed in a highly compact, low profile (0.75mm) 6­pin 2mm x 2mm DFN package with backside metal pad for excellent thermal performance. The device is guaranteed for operation from ­20°C to 85°C in E grade. It is available for $2.65 each in quantities of 1,000 ­piece pricing starts at $2.65 each.