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Semiconductor supplier Semtech has announced a sub-1V analogue timer platform, improving on the conventional 555 timer for low-voltage, battery-operated small appliances.

The SX8122 analogue timer offers long battery life via its intrinsic 0.9V operation, without the need for an external boost-converter and inductor, thus saving board-space and cost.

It also adds low-voltage features to the legacy 555 timer, with one output that controls a DC motor or another continuous low-voltage element and another output that generates a pulse train to drive a high-brightness LED from a single battery.

This combination of features makes the SX8122 ideal for a wide range of small consumer home and office appliances, such as electric toothbrushes, buzzers, toys and LED pointers.

The device also includes a voltage monitor to enable a simple USB charger for NiMH or NiCd supplied devices.

The Semtech SX8122 timer operates between 0.9V and 2V over the full industrial temperature range of -40 to +85C, making it ideally suited to run from one AA or AAA alkaline, NiMH or NiCd battery.

The timer is programmable via external resistors and a capacitor, similar to the legacy 555 analogue timer but at 1V.

It is designed for on/off button debouncing, delayed start-up functions, analogue programmable sequencing and time-out in toys and remote control applications.

Controlling I/Os at 0.6V eliminates unexpected behaviour in the external components and prevents current-drain during the start-up phase.

The timer also features a battery-overload indicator for slow NiMH or NiCd charger management.

By directly providing DC and burst outputs, it can drive continuous loads, as well as loads with high threshold voltage.

The SX8122 is available immediately in production quantities and is priced at USD0.36 (GBP0.27) each in 2,500-piece lots.

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