Engineers who want to maximize the battery life of their
cell phones and e-readers may now have an easier way to do it.
A new source
measurement unit with built in "seamless ranging" technology makes it easier
for engineers to test their products and measure the amount of current they're
using, whether it's in microamps (µA), milliamps (mA) or amps (A).
gives research and development engineers the ability to look deep down inside
and find out how much power their device is consuming, on an overall basis or
on a sub-circuit level," says Kevin Cavell, product manager for Agilent Technologies
, maker of the new
product. Cavell says the new power supply can be used during the development of
mobile phones, e-readers, MP3 players, pacemakers and countless other products
that employ batteries.
the Agilent N6781A
the new source measurement unit solves a longstanding challenge for engineers
developing battery-powered products. In many such products, the amount of
current consumption can vary widely, from µA to A. The wide disparity (a factor
of a million differences) between such current levels can cause headaches for
product developers who must change their test set-ups and make multiple
measurements to get the desired information. Agilent's N6781A solves that
problem by using a power supply with three measurement ranges and an automatic
"seamless measurement ranging" technology that automatically switches back and
forth between them.
research and development engineers came up with a way of switching, so you can
measure all three levels instantaneously and dynamically," Cavell says. "And
you're able to make the measurements without disrupting or losing anything."
that the technology is especially important for battery-powered, handheld
devices that dynamically change their current usage as they transition from full
power to "wake-up" to "listen" modes.
that has a battery of 20 Watts can use this," he says. "Where battery life is
critical to the user experience, we see a market."