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Switching regulator supplies 0.6V, delivers 75mA output

20 May 2013  | Steve Taranovich

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Touchstone semiconductors recently debut an analogue management product. The TS3300 is a switching regulator that comes with an LDO, supplying voltages down to 0.6V while still being able to deliver a 75mA output current.

The device can be used in power harvesting or peak load buffering applications. The LDO may post-regulate voltage buffered in a large capacitor or super-capacitor at boost's output. Finally, the LDO may be operated simply as an on/off load switch. The TS3300 also uses 3.5µA of supply current, and the device's efficiency performance is constant over a 100:1 span in output current.

The IC is suited to be powered from a wide variety of power sources including single or multiple-cell alkaline or single Li-chemistry batteries. The boost regulator's output voltage range can be user-set from 1.8V to 5.25V to power an entire range of low-power analogue circuits, microcontrollers and low-energy Bluetooth radios simultaneously. While configured to produce a 3V output from a 1.2V input source, the IC's efficiency performance is constant over a 100:1 span in output current. For powering low-energy radios, its internal, low-dropout linear regulator can deliver up to 100mA output current while reducing boost-converter-generated output voltage ripple by 3x.

Drawing only 3.5µA no-load supply current, the device is ideal for "always on" and other battery-powered or portable applications where extended battery run time is a major system requirement. When used in systems where the primary power source is non-ideal or when the power source is weak, the IC includes an anti-crush feature that prevents the boost converter's input voltage from excessive voltage drops; this, in turn, prevents the power source's voltage from degrading beyond usefulness.

The anti-crush feature prevents the collapse of the input voltage to the boost regulator when the input is a weak (high impedance) source. If the input voltage drops below a determined voltage threshold (settable by a resistor divider), the boost regulator switching cycles are paused, effectively limiting the minimum input voltage. Anti-crushis useful in applications where a buffer capacitor at the boost's output can service burst loads, and the input source exhibits substantial source impedance (such as with an old battery, or at cold temperatures).

Operating from very low power sources, such as photovoltaic cells to three alkaline cells, the device is suited for handheld/portable applications such as wireless remote sensors, RFID tags, wireless microphones, solar cell post-regulator/chargers, post-regulators for energy harvesting, blood glucose meters and personal health-monitoring devices.

The IC is priced at $0.85 in 1K-piece quantities and is fully specified over the -40°C to 85°C temperature range. It is available in a low-profile, thermally-enhanced 16-pin 3x3mm TQFN package with an exposed back-side paddle.

- Steve Taranovich

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