App note: Using Cymbet™ EnerChip™ batteries instead of coin cells and super capacitors


High charge/discharge cycle and solid state reliability EnerChip from Cymbet make this a good replacement for super caps and coin cell backup batteries. Link here (PDF)

Primary and secondary (i.e., rechargeable) coin cell batteries, as well as super capacitors, have been in use for years as auxiliary power sources for applications including SRAM, real-time clocks, and microcontrollers. Now, a new type of rechargeable battery is available from Cymbet Corporation, the leader in thin film rechargeable micro-batteries.

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  1. Oh, so many positives tick marks in the table. Looks good, right?
    Just look in the app note, oh, the max capacity is 50uAh, it’s really going to cramp hobbyist projects…
    But it’s a lousy app note, just 2 pages and they are hiding all the information. Go instead to their website and download the data sheet. At least, they have my respect for not hiding it behind an NDA.
    The good bit: it’s 3.8V nominal, Lithium chemistry. The bad bit: ummm, you may have to wait 11-45 minutes to do a full charge, on, er, 50uAh. Don’t do too many deep discharges mind you…

    1. Huh. 11-45 minutes counts as Fast recharge for the EnerChip but < 60s for a supercapacitor doesn't count??

  2. As product documentation goes, the Cymbet PDF is – not the most informative.
    Product dimensions, power handling, price, RF performance, charted plots of discharge vs load, temperature, etc, etc are all missing.

    1. @Alan,

      The .pdf download link in the DP post is really not informative at all (bad choice IMO). However, there are more detailed datasheets for these Cymbet battery parts available that do reveal more information (go to Digi-Key etc.) Note: These parts have been around for (at-least) the past five years – and I haven’t seen much activity in evaluating them by third-parties. But at first glance there does seem to be a niche where these parts (if they work as claimed) may be useful. But only for high-impedance loads, e.g., low-voltage SDRAM backup/keep-alive. I also harbor a suspicion that these parts, which are only (seemingly) available in hard to work with SMT packages, may be a battery backup “solution” for manufacturers that embrace “planned obsolescence”. Then there’s the issue of price/availability: I would classify these parts (for an experimenter anyway) as “Unobtainium”.

      In conclusion: Thanks DP for doing this Datasheet post, it has been a long while since I revisited these Cymbet battery things; and it was worth a look to see if anything has changed – which (sadly) haven’t. There are some Marketing-Hype videos about these parts on YouTube if you wish to drink from the Poisoned Cup.

  3. Yeah all the cheap minions drone things in china use super caps. Two huge benes: super fast charge, and avoid shipping battery services…. It’s damn near impossible to ship batteries these days. That’s an exaggeration, but they treat it like flammables and there’s a lot of extra scrutiny and restrictions and costs.

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