The MAX20340 from Maxim Integrated Products is presented as the smallest 2-pin bi-directional DC powerline communications (PLC) device available. With power and communication on a single line, the MAX20340 eliminates pins and discrete devices needed to communicate between a charging dock and a low-voltage end product.
The tiny PLC chip minimizes the number of mechanical contact points for the charging and communication interface, and incorporates automatic presence detection, eliminating alternative methods such as mechanical pogo pins or hall-effect sensors. Configured as either a communication master or slave by a single external resistor, the device offers multiple modes of operation to minimize power consumption based on application needs.
Offering an 80 percent size reduction versus legacy solutions, the I2C-enabled MAX20340 PLC IC measures 1.84mm2 and does not require any large external components. Pricing starts at $0.82 (1000-up, FOB USA, and the MAX20340EVKIT# evaluation kit is available for $57.