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Synchronous rail-to-rail, single resistor step-down regulator delivers 1.5-A at 0-V to 15-V

February 13, 2012 | Paul Buckley | 222904108
Linear Technology Corporation had introduced a 1.5 A, high efficiency, synchronous buck regulator that can be easily paralleled for higher current applications and is adjustable down to 0 V with a single resistor. The new LTC3600 switching regulator architecture uses a 50 A current reference, combined with a single resistor to set the output voltage. The design enables easy current sharing between multiple regulators, setting the output voltage for all of the regulators with a single external resistor.

The LTC3600 delivers high performance without any compromises. The device’s wide input voltage capability from 4 V to 15 V makes it ideal for dual-cell Li-Ion applications, as well as fixed 5 V and 12 V intermediate bus systems and synchronous rectification delivers efficiencies as high as 96%. 

The LTC3600’s novel design allows dynamic adjustment of output voltage from 0V to VIN-0.5 V, offering virtually rail-to-rail performance. The device’s ability to provide zero output enables it to power down individual rails in the system as needed. Its on-chip trimmed reference achieves accuracy of ±1%. Furthermore, output regulation and transient response are independent of output voltage. Output voltage tracking or soft start is easily programmed via the ISET pin for applications that require power sequencing.

The LTC3600’s wide VIN & VOUT capability, tight line and load regulation, high efficiency, low external parts count and parallel capability make it ideal for modern multirail systems.

The LTC3600’s combination of a 3 mm x  3mm DFN or a thermally enhanced MSOP-12 package and its 200 kHz to 4 MHz switching capability enable use of tiny, low cost capacitors and inductors, offering a compact solution footprint for multirail applications. Additional features include a power good voltage monitor, external synchronization capability and thermal protection.

Availability and Pricing

The LTC3600EDD is available in a 3 mm x 3 mm DFN-12, and the LTC3600EMSE is offered in a 12-lead, thermally enhanced MSOP package. Pricing for both package options starts at $2.80 each in 1,000-piece quantities. Industrial grade versions, the LTC3600IDD and LTC3600IMSE, are guaranteed to operate over the -40°C to 125°C operating junction temperature range and are priced at $3.22 each in 1,000-piece quantities. All versions are available from stock.

More information about the LTC3600 synchronous buck regulator at

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