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Semtech enters digital power market with 28-V I2C PWM Controller

June 17, 2010 | Paul Buckley | 222901075
Semtech enters digital power market with  28-V I2C PWM Controller Semtech Corp., has introduced the company’s first digitally controlled DC-DC converter.
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The SC493 addresses todays increasingly complex power management requirements by enabling users to digitally configure and interrogate the status of the controller via an I2C bus. The SC493 is the latest addition to Semtechs EcoSpeed converter platform, and it combines the flexibility and feature set of a digital converter with the ultra-fast transient response and high efficiency of Semtechs patented adaptive on-time (AOT) controller architecture.

Most controllers today are analog, which can achieve high performance but lack flexibility, said Alan Burchfield, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Semtechs Power Management Group. Some controllers now provide digital flexibility, but it is typically achieved via totally digital topologies. This requires the addition of high-speed data converters and power-hungry DSPs. Semtechs approach takes our best-in-class, adaptive on-time EcoSpeed controller core, and wraps it with a digital interface to provide the benefits of an efficient, high-performance analog core and the flexibility of digital control.

The I2C interface of the SC493 can be used to fine adjust the output voltage and implement margining, as well as to program device functions including output enable/disable, switching frequency, power-on delay time, soft-start time, power-save mode and ultrasonic power-save frequency. The I2C status register bits can be used for diagnostics, including current limit, over temperature, over/under voltage, brown out and power good.

The AOT topology of the SC493 helps designers meet todays demanding green power requirements by efficiently managing both standby and full current demands. This powerful AOT core, combined with I2C programmability makes the SC493 an optimal choice for high-current, distributed main power supply rails in embedded applications for networking, communications, industrial, and office automation equipment.

Semtechs AOT core provides the best of conventional current mode, voltage mode and constant on-time control topologies, with minimal tradeoffs. The architecture enables superior static and dynamic regulation and very high efficiency across light to full power loads, while eliminating the need for external compensation components, providing a simple, space-saving and cost-effective power management solution.

The SC493 switching frequency is programmable from 250 kHz to 1 MHz, which allows power supply rails to be optimized for either conversion efficiency or solution size. The device also incorporates Semtechs proprietary SmartDrive technology, a two-step, high-side FET turn-on technology that reduces EMI in noise-sensitive applications, and provides strong FET gate drives capable of supporting output currents up to 25 A.

The EcoSpeed architecture allows the SC493 to work with ceramic input and output capacitors, providing further design flexibility and reliability. This, combined with no external compensation components, optimizes BOM costs and reduces time-to-design. The SC493 is packaged in a low-profile 20-pad, 3.0 x 3.0 x 0.6 mm, lead-free, halogen-free MLPQ package for added space savings.

Key features of the SC493 EcoSpeed Digital PWM Controller

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