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Catalyst touts smallest, highest efficiency charge pump

Posted: 12 Feb 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:new charge pump? new charge pumps? charge pump? Catalyst? Catalyst Semiconductor?

Catalyst Semiconductor Inc. unveiled its CAT3643 three-channel and CAT3644 four-channel Quad-Mode charge pumps. The CAT3643 Quad-Mode charge pump drives up to three LEDs, and is touted to be the world's smallest, highest efficiency charge pump, delivering 10 percent higher efficiency compared to three-mode charge pumps, in a 2.5-by-2.5mm XQFN package with a 0.4mm profile.

With the Quad-Mode switching architecture, explained Catalyst, the CAT3643 and CAT3644 deliver efficiency levels as high as 92 percent.

The patent-pending Quad-Mode charge pump architecture delivers the high efficiency levels of inductor-based LED drivers, while eliminating the associated high-profile inductors, and unwanted EMI, explained Catalyst. Most charge pump LED drivers today offer three modes of operation corresponding to the ratio of the output voltage to the input voltage: 1x, 1.5x and 2x. The Quad-Mode architecture adds a fourth mode of operation, 1.33x, without the need for the additional capacitor and associated extra two pins required by all existing four-mode charge pumps, which enables the dramatically smaller, lower pin count XQFN package.

The 1.33x fractional operating mode also reduces the input switching currents seen at the battery, minimizing the overall supply noise. Additionally, by utilizing the 1.33x mode of operation, the excess boosted voltage is kept to a minimum, which reduces wasted power and subsequent device heat losses.

According to Scott Brown, vice president of marketing for Catalyst, the performance and space saving benefits of the CAT3643, combined with its eXtra-thin XQFN package "provide an unprecedented performance alternative for designers of today's emerging, ultra-thin portable products."

The CAT3643 includes fully featured LED programming and dimming control via Catalyst's flexible 1-wire EZDim programming interface. Six different current ratios are available via the EZDim interface.

Together with the CAT3643, Catalyst is also introducing the CAT3644 four-channel Quad-Mode device, which drives up to four LEDs, with efficiency levels as high as 92 percent.

Pricing for the CAT3643 starts at 64 cents each, and pricing for the CAT3644 is 68 cents each, both in 10,000-piece quantities. Samples and evaluation kits are already available, with projected lead-times for production quantities currently at 6 to 8 weeks ARO.

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