Advances in low power microcontrollers and communication ICs have made it possible to build lightweight, unobtrusive, wearable smart devices that run diverse applications. Popular examples include smart watches and body signal monitoring bands.


Power and Battery Management

In a wearable device the power system must be able to regulate voltage from a battery—a voltage source with a declining voltage output. The regulators must be very efficient so as to maximize charge usage, and must also supply the number of rails required by the design. The usable voltage range of a rechargeable Li+ battery ranges from 4.2V to approximately 3.2V. Most wearable products use main power rails that are below the minimum charge of a single-cell Li+ battery, so the main rails within a wearable design are sourced from a step-down regulator. Some functions within a wearable product might require a higher voltage level than is provided by a single-cell battery. To provide these voltage levels the power management function must contain at least one step-up regulator. The number of rails required depends on the device functionality, but for optimum efficiency it’s best to minimize the number of required rails.

PMICs for Wearables 
Boost Regulators for Wearables 
Battery Chargers for Wearables 
Battery Fuel Gauges for Wearables 


Power usage and processing capabilities are the most important selection criteria for a microcontroller for wearable applications. A system partitioning strategy should be used to decide which system functions are best integrated into the microcontroller and which can be handled externally. Because the wearable health devices read body signals, the capabilities of any on-chip analog circuitry must also be taken into account to ensure they can accurately process low-level body signals.

Wearable Healthcare Platform Design Considerations
High-Performance Microcontrollers for Wearables 

Sensors and Sensor Interface

The electrical outputs from body sensors have very low magnitude, in the millivolt and microvolt range. Accordingly, many of the sensors that are practical for wearable health applications have been combined with amplification and conversion circuits within a single die or package so that they output either a higher level analog signal or a serialized digital signal.

Wearable Healthcare Platform Design Considerations
Body Wearable Sensors 

Featured Products

Battery Management

Boosted Class-DG Amplifier with Integrated Dynamic Speaker Management and Industry-Leading Efficiency


Easy-to-use Dynamic Speaker Management (DSM) provides louder and deeper audio while increasing micro speaker sound clarity.

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3µA 1-Cell/2-Cell Fuel Gauge with ModelGauge


Smallest, lowest power fuel gauge with proven, voltage-only ModelGauge algorithm.

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Stand-Alone ModelGauge m5 Fuel Gauges with SHA-256 Authentication EZ


Offers nonvolatile memory (NVM) for pack-side, single-cell or multi-cell applications.

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7µA 1-Cell Fuel Gauge with ModelGauge m5 EZ


Combines coulomb counting and voltage fuel gauging for highest SOC accuracy.

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Wearable Charge Management Solution


This battery-charge-management solution includes a linear battery-charger with 28V tolerant input, smart power control, and several power-optimized peripherals. A boost regulator with 5V to 17V output, and 3 programmable current sinks can drive a variety of LED configurations.

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Industry's Smallest 1.55A 1-Cell Li+ DC-DC Charger


This device charges quickly with minimal heat generation. It charges from variety of adapters and maximizes Safety featuring JEITA-compliant temperature monitoring and withstands transient inputs up to 22V.

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ModelGauge m3 Fuel Gauge


These battery fuel gauges provide excellent short-term and long-term accuracy by using both coulomb counting and voltage-based ModelGauge algorithms. ModelGauge m3 cancels offset accumulation error in the coulomb counter while providing better short-term accuracy than any purely voltage-based fuel gauge.

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USB/AC Adapter, Li+ Linear Battery Charger


This complete 1-cell Li+ battery charge-management IC operates from either a USB port or AC adapter. It integrates a battery disconnect switch, current-sense circuit, PMOS pass element, and thermal-regulation circuitry, while eliminating the external reverse-blocking Schottky diode, to create a simple and small charging solution.

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3µA 1-Cell Fuel Gauge with ModelGauge


Maximize Battery Run-Time with Industry's Smallest Size, Lowest Power Fuel Gauge

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7µA 1-Cell Fuel Gauge with ModelGauge m5 EZ


ModelGauge m5 EZ Eliminates Battery Characterization

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7µA 1-Cell Fuel Gauge with ModelGauge m5 EZ


Low IQ fuel gauge for precision measurements of current, voltage, and temperature.

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Wearable Power Management Solution for Primary Cells


Wearable Power Management for Single-Cell Zinc Air, Silver Oxide, and Alkaline Battery Architectures

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Wearable Charge-Management Solution


Extends Battery Life of Wearable Electronics

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Ultra-Low-Power PMIC with 3-Output SIMO


PMIC features SIMO buck-boost regulator and a 150mA LDO.

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Dual Input, Power Path, 3A Switching Mode Charger


High-performance companion PMIC with ModelGaugeTM m5 fuel gauge technology.

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Stand-Alone ModelGauge m5 Fuel Gauge with SHA-256 Authentication


This ultra-low power fuel gauge IC with SHA-256 authentication doesn’t require characterization, ideal for pack-side implementation.





High-Sensitivity Pulse Oximeter and Heart-Rate Sensor


Pulse Oximeter and Heart-Rate Biosensor for Wearable Health

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DC-DC Regulators

28V Internal Switch LCD Bias Supply with True Shutdown


Boost converter uses internal switches to deliver up to 28V from inputs as low as 0.8V, with True Shutdown™.

30V Internal Switch LCD Bias Supply


Boost converter with 0.5A internal switch in a tiny 6-pin SOT23 package, accepts inputs as low as 0.8V.


For information about designing wearable health products, including example block diagrams of typical wearable products, please visit:

Wearable Healthcare Solutions

How Remote Patient Monitoring Can Help Us Battle COVID-19
2:39 min
June 2020

Heart Rate Monitor Demo
25:30 min
August 2016

Pulse Oximetry Measurement: Wearable Oxygen Monitor for Active Lifestyles
2:06 min
November 2014

Fit Two Shirt: A Wearable Wellness Platform Example
2:08 min
November 2014

Body Temperature Measurement: Send and Receive With Wearable NFC
2:00 min
November 2014

Wellness Watch: A Wearable Wellness Platform Example
2:25 min
November 2014

Introduction to the MAX86140 and MAX86141 Optical Pulse Oximeter and Heart-Rate Sensor
12:25 min
September 2017

Wristband Health Monitoring Demo with MAX86141
4:55 min
November 2017

Make High-Accuracy Biopotential and BioZ Measurements with MAX30001
3:52 min
November 2017

Introducing the MAX-HEALTH-BAND Heart Rate and Activity Monitor
7:58 min
June 2018

Introducing the MAX-ECG-MONITOR Wearable ECG and Heart Monitor
5:17 min
June 2018

Introduction to the MAX20330A Precision HV Capable ID Detector
2:50 min
August 2018

Introduction to the MAX14745 and MAX20335 PMICs with Ultra Low IQ Voltage Regulators and Battery Charger for Small Lithium Ion Systems
9:32 min
August 2018

Introduction to the MAX17262 5.2µA 1-Cell Fuel Gauge with ModelGauge m5 EZ and Internal Current Sensing
7:42 min
August 2018

Introduction to the MAX20327 12V Capable, Low-RON, Beyond-the-Rails DPDT Analog Switches
2:36 min
September 2018

Introducing the Health Sensor Platform 2.0 (MAXREFDES101)
2:45 min
September 2018

Introduction to the MAX20326 Dual Precision Bus Accelerator
2:21 min
October 2018

In-Ear Heart-Rate Monitor Demo - electronica 2018
1:06 min
November 2018

Wearable Fitness/Medical and IoT Power Demo - electronica 2018
3:29 min
November 2018

MAX-ECG-MONITOR and MAX-HEALTH-BAND Demo – electronica 2018
1:54 min
November 2018

Introduction to the MAX16142 nanoPower, Tiny Supervisor with Manual Reset Input
3:38 min
February 2019

Introduction to the MAX16150 Nano-Power Pushbutton ON/OFF Controller and Battery Freshness Seal
4:44 min
February 2019

Introduction to the MAX17303 MAX17313 1-Cell ModelGauge m5 EZ Fuel Gauge with Protector
8:21 min
March 2019

Introduction to the MAX20343 Ultra Low Quiescent Current, Low Noise 3.5W Buck-Boost Regulator
7:54 min
October 2019

Introduction to the MAX32664 Ultra-Low Power Biometric Sensor Hub
5:35 min
February 2019

Introduction to the MAX86171 Best-in-Class Optical Pulse Oximeter and Heart-Rate Sensor AFE for Wearable Health
12:05 min
January 2020

How to Set Up the MAXREFDES117 Heart-Rate and Pulse-Oximetry Monitor with an Arduino Board
3:01 min
July 2019

Introduction to the MAX20340 Bidirectional DC Powerline Communication Management IC
3:35 min
January 2019

Introduction to the MAX16158 Nanopower, Tiny Supervisor with Manual Reset Input
3:28 min
April 2020

Introduction to the MAX16152 MAX16153* MAX16154* and MAX16155 nanoPower Supervisor and Watchdog Timer
4:52 min
May 2019

Introduction to the MAXM86161 Single-Supply Integrated Optical Module for HR and SpO2 Measurement
2:31 min
May 2019

Introduction to the MAX31341B Low-Current, Real-Time Clock with I2C Interface and Power Management
4:13 min
July 2019

Introduction to the MAX30208 Low-Power, High-Accuracy Digital Temp Sensor
5:56 min
May 2019

Introduction to the MAX30131 MAX30132 MAX30134 4-Channel Ultra-low Power Electrochemical Sensor AFE
8:25 min
November 2019

How to Update the Firmware on the MAXREFDES101 Health Sensor Platform 2.0
1:57 min
August 2019

Introduction to the MAX77654 Ultra-Low Power PMIC Featuring Single-Inductor, 3-Output Buck-Boost, 2-LDOs, Power Path Charger for Small Li+, and Ship Mode
5:36 min
October 2019

How to Quickly Measure SpO2, HR, and HRV Blood from Your Wrist Using the MAXREFDES103
3:45 min
June 2020

How to Get Your Healthcare Wearable Off the Ground Faster
1:45 min
June 2020

Introduction to the MAX86916 Integrated Optical Sensor Module for Mobile Health
6:34 min
April 2020

Introduction to the MAX20353 Wearable Charge Management Solution
6:53 min
April 2020