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DC/DC controller supports 4.5V to 38V input voltage range

03 Nov 2015

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Linear Technology Corp. has introduced a dual output current mode synchronous step-down DC/DC controller with programmable loop compensation and I2C-based PMBus interface. The LTC3884 enables the use of very low DC resistance (DCR) power inductors (0.3mΩ) by enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio of the current sense signal to maximise converter efficiency and increase power density.

The LTC3884 operates over an input voltage range of 4.5V to 38V and produces output voltages up to 5.5V. Up to six phases can be paralleled and clocked out-of-phase to minimise input and output filtering. When both outputs are paralleled, the LTC3884 provides less than ±5 per cent current mismatch between phases. Alternatively, the LTC3884 can be used with the LTC3874 phase extender, making it ideal for high current requirements up to 240A. Onboard differential amplifiers provide true remote output voltage sensing of both outputs. Applications include power distribution, redundant (n+1) supplies, FPGA, ASIC and processor power.


The LTC3884 has a selectable fixed operating frequency from 200kHz to 1MHz or it can be synchronised to an external clock. A 1.1Ω onboard all N-channel gate drivers reduce MOSFET switching losses. The LTC3884's adjustable and precise current limit threshold can be configured for very low sense voltages from 10mV to 30mV, further reducing power loss. Additional features include input current sensing, two power good output signals, programmable soft-start and programmable fault recovery method.

The LTC3884 is supported by the LTpowerPlay software development tool with graphical user interface (GUI). Its serial I2C-based interface enables system designers and remote operators to command and supervise a system's power condition and consumption. The capability to digitally change power supply parameters reduces time-to-market and down time, eliminating what would typically require physical hardware, circuit or system BOM modifications. The LTC3884 simplifies system characterisation, optimisation and data mining during prototyping, deployment and field operation.

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