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Fuel Tank (LiPo) BoosterPack

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It seems that Farnell (Element 14) and TI have been working on a LiPo BoosterPack.


Press release


Compatible with TI LaunchPads, the Fuel Tank BoosterPack includes an onboard Lithium Polymer battery charger, as well as a gas gauge that can output the critical parameters of the battery including temperature, charging state, capacity and more.



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There is a typo in the press release - not  "3.7V 12mAH LiPo battery" but "3.7V 1200mAh LiPo cell". For crying out loud! Battery is a set of cells, this is a single cell. And since when cell capacity is measured in mili Amp Henrys? Not mentioning eating two zeros in the capacity... and "change state" instead of "charge state".

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I'd love to know how power-efficient it is in terms of "low-power" or if it's just meant to be a beefier battery option.

Looking at the two BQ chips... depends on how you use them and how configurable they are I guess.  They look quite configurable and have sub-10uA quiescent currents available.


The gas gauge has a "hibernate mode" that draws 4uA quiescent, and the charger chip has 5uA quiescent current in Standby mode (9uA in Active mode when charging is done).  However if it uses the VBUS pin to provide the battery's output, that can draw ~50-80uA (BAT in "Load Mode").  Will have to look at the boosterpack's schematic in detail to see how it's architected.

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User's guide: http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-65076/l/texas-instruments-user-manual-for-fuel-tank-boosterpack


Confusing header layout, possibly with errors.  Anyway, it looks like they're expecting the USCI_B ports (msp430 LP) to be exposed as I2C SCL/SDA.  No jumpers for that one either that I can see.  That might be a problem... and it violates the new BoosterPack XL standard that Adrian et al published that has I2C on the lower left side.

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Also it contains two Buck-Boost regulators to provide regulated 3.3V and 5V output for the LaunchPad (TPS63001 and TPS63002's used for that).


So far my only real gripe is that the SDA/SCL isn't brought out to some jumperable pins that can be remapped elsewhere, and likewise the various signals (charge complete, power good, enable) are hardwired to pins as well although that's not too shocking to me (pun intended? haw haw haw).


As a compromise to avoid having to break out every single pin in the launchpad layout... what I would probably do is have a pair of jumpers for SCL/SDA where jumpered one way they go to the USCI_B pins, jumpered the other they go to the new SCL/SDA pins on the left side per the new standard.

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