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Buck regulator gives 80mm2 footprint

Posted: 02 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:buck regulator? point-of-load? dc/dc?

Semtech Corp. unveils the latest device in its buck regulator platform. The SC197 is a 500mA, dual-output, point-of-load (POL) regulator, combining two PWM DC/DC regulators in an ultra-small, low-profile 2x3x0.6mm package with an overall design solution footprint of just 80mm2. The small size and footprint of the SC197 help designers save significant board space versus using two single-channel switchers and power efficiency up to 94 percent makes the device a higher efficiency alternative to LDOs. The SC197 is designed for power management applications in portable equipment, as well as in lower-voltage, multi-rail power supply designs.

In addition to the two on-chip regulators, the SC197 features integrated 4bit VID pins to provide dynamic voltage scaling (DVS), without the need for external programming resistors. Also, on-chip loop compensation eliminates the need for stability control components and a 3.5MHz fixed PWM switching frequency operation balances high efficiency and fast transient response, while enabling the SC197 to work with very small chip inductors. In typical designs, each regulator requires only two capacitors and a single inductor. This combination of high integration, tiny package, and low external parts count enables the small, 80mm2 footprint of the SC197.

Both regulators in the SC197 operate from inputs of 2.9VC5.5V and provide 15 pin-programmable output voltages from 0.8VC3.3V, covering all the typical core and I/O voltage rails with one device. An automatic power-save (PSAVE) mode reduces quiescent current to 38?A (typical) per regulator to maintain high efficiency during light loads.

The SC197 offers full protection features, including internal soft-start to minimise inrush current; input under-voltage lockout; output over-voltage and current-limit protection; foldback current limit, short-circuit protection; and over-temperature protection. 100 percent duty-cycle operation is also supported for applications with low headroom between input and output.

For applications requiring just one regulator, the SC195, with an external inductor and the SC202 with an integrated inductor, offer the same performance as the SC197. For higher power applications requiring dual regulators, the SC283 integrates two, 1.8A regulators.

The space-saving, high efficiency and DVS features of the SC197 make it applicable for portable equipment applications, including medical and personal navigation devices; POS terminals; and portable games. It can also be used to manage 3.3VC5V internal power rails in embedded applications for networking, communications, industrial, and office automation equipment.

The SC197 is available immediately in production quantities and is priced at $0.98 each in 3,000-piece lots. The ordering code is SC197ULTRT. Evaluation boards (SC197EVB) are also available. Semtech offers comprehensive design assistance, including field- and factory-based support.

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