Really Cool Fan Control IC Drives Green Wind

By Melexis Nv, PRNE
Monday, July 25, 2011

TESSENDERLO, Belgium, July 26, 2011 -


Melexis today releases its super smart
solution for energy-efficient cooling fan designs. The MLX90287
provides a fully integrated, robust and high performance Hall
effect based fan driver IC, with the ability to control cooling fan
speed using PWM or Analog signals. This device will benefit
information technology equipment such as Desktop Computers, Gaming
Consoles and also cooling fans in automotive applications like LED

The MLX90287 features a one-chip solution for driving low noise
speed-controlled single-coil brushless cooling fans. With an
operating supply voltage from 4.5V to 16 volts, the MLX90287
targets the widely used “12 volt” cooling fan applications. With
the integrated power stage, cooling fans rated as high as 550mA
(continuous) can be easily driven addressing a majority of
applications. The device is even able to operate within an ambient
temperature from -40 to 150 degree Celsius, making it suitable for
harsh environments like automotive, industrial, military and
aerospace. .

The ultimate step in energy-efficient cooling designs is to
control and optimize cooling fan rotation speed depending on the
system thermal load. Taking the example of a computer processor,
while regular office work creates low system load, on the contrary
playing intense 3D games requires the highest system load. Hence
constantly keeping the maximum cooling capabilities leads to a
waste of energy and high acoustic noise from the fan airflow.

The MLX90287 provides a simple solution for controlling cooling
fan speed via digital or analog techniques. Latest cooling
architectures for CPU cooling use high frequency pulse width
modulation (PWM) signal where the applied duty cycle is
proportional to the desired cooling speed. Unlike other solutions,
the MLX90287 directly accepts, without any external circuitry, a
wide PWM frequency range from 100Hz to 100KHz. This suits perfectly
the latest systems using typically 25KHz or above and older systems
still using lower frequency. Other architectures use analog signal
or even temperature sensor control. The MLX90287 can regulate
cooling fan speed via a mere potentiometer, a solution used by many
extreme gamers for total control, or even a simple thermistor for a
more automatic regulation responding on the real system

More information can be found online: href="">

Contact: Rik Moens - +32-13-670-780 - rmo at

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