Integrated Circuit predicts fan failure.

Press Release Summary:



TC670 detects critical fan speed of 2-wire and 3-wire fans and provides thermal failure protection in temperature-sensitive equipment. It predicts fan failure by sensing fan revolutions and asserting logic-low alert signal whenever fan speed falls below user programmable trip point. Single resistor divider is adequate for setting RPM alarm level, eliminating need for software. Unit also features ability to monitor multiple fans in parallel.



Original Press Release:


Microchip Technology Releases Market's First Software-Free Fan Failure Predictor


Predictive fan failure detector eliminates need for 3-wire fans

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Dec. 4, 2001 - Expanding its thermal management family of devices with new proprietary solutions, Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announced an
industry first with its TC670 predictive fan failure integrated circuit. A single resistor divider is adequate for setting the RPM alarm level and therefore implementing predictive fan failure
without the need for software. Eliminating the need to purchase more expensive and often custom-made 3-wire fans, the space-saving SOT-23 package has the ability to detect critical fan
speed (RPM) of 2-wire and 3-wire fans and provide thermal failure protection in temperature-sensitive equipment.

The device is able to predict fan failure by sensing fan revolutions and asserting a logic-low alert signal whenever the fan speed falls below a user programmable trip point. The TC670 has a pin for clearing the alert signal, making it ideal for interfacing with microcontrollers. Excellent thermal protection is assured by giving users the opportunity to replace the fan before any electro-mechanical problem compromises the system's performance and reliability. Hardware-based programmability allows for flexibility of design, since different systems utilize fans that run at different RPM levels, and reliability.

Small size and low operating current (90µA typical) make the TC670 ideal for space and power critical systems. The TC670 also features high RPM detection accuracy as well as the ability to monitor multiple fans in parallel. This accuracy, flexibility, and software-free means of implementation significantly reduces the complexity and cost of predictive fan failure detection
and therefore provides a superior, easy-to-use solution for equipment utilizing active cooling methods.

Applications targeted for the TC670 device include telecom and networking equipment, power supplies, instrumentation, data storage ewuipment, notebooks and servers, industrial control and general-purpose fan-fault detection.

Pricing in 1,000-unit quantities is $0.96 each for the TC670 (6-lead, SOT-23 package).

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