Synchronous buck regulators support auxiliary rails on FPGA platforms

9th June 2014
Mick Elliott

Intersil has introduced 3Amp synchronous buck regulators for which it makes the claim that the devices will improve reliability and extend the life of end products. With integrated high side and low side MOSFETs, the new ISL85003/3A buck regulators support an input voltage range of 4.5V to 18V.

They deliver efficient and continuous 3A current for the latest generation of FPGAs from leading manufacturers for high-end server, network communication and industrial process control applications. The buck regulators are designed to deliver a very low resistance in a triode region RDS(ON) with an optimised current mode controller to further improve efficiency and reduce die temperatures, keeping complex systems cooler and preventing product failures.

Many 12V infrastructure and industrial applications need a buck regulator solution to step the system voltage down to 3.3V and lower while delivering a continuous 3A current. These applications require a high level of reliability and low power loss to extend product life and reduce risk of system failure.

Intersil specifically designed the new 3A synchronous buck regulators to operate at and enable the highest efficiency, making systems more robust with consistent and reliable performance. Based on a proprietary high-performance power FET, the ISL85003/3A’s high side MOSFET runs at 65mOhms and the low side RDS(ON) runs at 45mOhm. This makes them the lowest RDS(ON) buck regulator solutions in the market place with up to 95 percent efficiency. Greater efficiency translates to lower die temperatures, keeping the system cooler and reducing reliance on fans or other outside cooling systems. The high efficient MOSFETs also enable the buck regulators to work in applications that do not have expensive cooling systems.

The devices offer a light load mode that allows systems to go into sleep mode when power requirements drop, effectively consuming less power. Many applications are reducing overall power consumption due to governmental regulations worldwide. As a result, companies are redesigning their products to meet these aggressive new requirements. In particular, the industrial market has seen a wave of new power efficient products that utilise energy saving design techniques such as sleep mode. These products range from high-end server and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to smart home and smart factory applications that require an extended battery charge. In many cases, the microcontroller or FPGAs are put into sleep mode during down time. For applications in which the load can vary from full operation to low power state, having a light load mode feature improves the overall system efficiency. In applications that do not require light load mode, designers can easily disable the feature, reducing the switching frequencies and simplifying design.

Efficiency doesn’t come at the cost of switching frequency with the new buck regulators. The switching frequency runs at 500KHz or can be synchronised to a clock up to 2MHz. This high switching frequency enables smaller inductors for the design and lower ripple, further improving efficiency and ease of design.


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