July 26, 2011

Really Cool Fan Control IC Drives Green Wind

TESSENDERLO, Belgium, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Melexis today releases its super smart solution for energy-efficient
cooling fan designs. The MLX90287 provides a fully integrated, robust and
high performance Hall effect based fan driver IC, with the ability to
control cooling fan speed using PWM or Analog signals. This device will
benefit information technology equipment such as Desktop Computers, Gaming
Consoles and also cooling fans in automotive applications like LED

The MLX90287 features a one-chip solution for driving low noise
speed-controlled single-coil brushless cooling fans. With an operating
supply voltage from 4.5V to 16 volts, the MLX90287 targets the widely used
"12 volt" cooling fan applications. With the integrated power stage, cooling
fans rated as high as 550mA (continuous) can be easily driven addressing a
majority of applications. The device is even able to operate within an
ambient temperature from -40 to 150 degree Celsius, making it suitable for
harsh environments like automotive, industrial, military and aerospace. .

The ultimate step in energy-efficient cooling designs is to control and
optimize cooling fan rotation speed depending on the system thermal load.
Taking the example of a computer processor, while regular office work
creates low system load, on the contrary playing intense 3D games requires
the highest system load. Hence constantly keeping the maximum cooling
capabilities leads to a waste of energy and high acoustic noise from the fan

The MLX90287 provides a simple solution for controlling cooling fan
speed via digital or analog techniques. Latest cooling architectures for CPU
cooling use high frequency pulse width modulation (PWM) signal where the
applied duty cycle is proportional to the desired cooling speed. Unlike
other solutions, the MLX90287 directly accepts, without any external
circuitry, a wide PWM frequency range from 100Hz to 100KHz. This suits
perfectly the latest systems using typically 25KHz or above and older
systems still using lower frequency. Other architectures use analog signal
or even temperature sensor control. The MLX90287 can regulate cooling fan
speed via a mere potentiometer, a solution used by many extreme gamers for
total control, or even a simple thermistor for a more automatic regulation
responding on the real system temperature.

More information can be found online: