Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) has announced a new voltage regulator integrated circuit (IC) for automotive applications that currently achieves the world’s lowest power consumption, only 95 microamperes, for this device category.

Designated TB9001FN, the device has a built-in 32-kilohertz (KHz) sub-clock circuit that replaces external components such as shock-sensitive crystals and ceramics.  The voltage regulator IC offers longer battery life and stable output voltage over a wide range of operating temperatures.

TEAC said that an increasing number of microcontrollers are being used in automotive vehicles, including devices to control anti-theft systems, auto-lock systems and car area network systems.

Such convenience features consume current, even when the engine is switched off and the microcontroller is in sleep mode, placing considerable strain on the vehicle battery.  With its low-power consumption and integrated sub-clock circuit, the new voltage regulator IC is claimed to provide a highly reliable solution to this problem.

Mass production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2003 at a monthly volume of one million units.