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Synchronous buck converter simplifies USB Type-C designs

06 May 2016  | Susan Nordyk

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Maxim has introduced the MAX77596 synchronous buck converter that allows portable devices to easily adapt to USB Type-C with PD (Power Delivery). According to the company, the MAX77596 operates from a supply as low as 3.5V and as high as 24V, regulating from conventional 5V USB power, as well as the 20V upper end of the PD range.

Aimed at battery-powered applications, the MAX77596 has a quiescent current of just 1.1μA at no load to permit always-on operation, added Maxim.


Previously, designing a power supply for USB Type-C port controllers required two chips: a low input voltage linear regulator in parallel with a higher input voltage switcher to cover the wide voltage range of the PD standard. Devices using the PD voltage range can now generate an always-on digital supply rail (1.8V/3.3V/5V) for the controller using the MAX77596.

The converter comes in fixed 3.3V and 5V output versions. An adjustable version allows the output voltage to be programmed between 1V and 10V with a resistor-divider. The MAX77596 accommodates DC loads up to 300mA. Frequency is fixed at 1.7MHz, which allows the use of small external components and reduced output ripple.

Other features include short-circuit and thermal protection, 6.67ms internal soft-start, current-mode control, and up to 42V input voltage tolerance. Line transient response is 50mV pk-pk when changing from 5V to 20V and back.

The MAX77596 comes in a 2mm x 2.5mm x 0.75mm, 10-pin TDFN package.

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