When the first cellular phones emerged, they contained a number of discrete power components. The devices were bulky and their high power consumption allowed for only short standby and talk times. In response to increased consumer demand for smaller, higher performance wireless electronics, engineers developed advanced design techniques that provide better performance and allow for saving of printed circuit board (PCB) real estate.

The introduction of simple, dedicated Power Management Unit ICs (PMUs) has offered significant improvements, saved much PCB space, and reduced overall costs. The demands on PMUs increase daily and new trends indicate that many features not currently covered by the chip set will eventually be integrated into the PMU. This paper discusses current integrated PMU solutions, as well as the direction in which the technology is headed.