Power Electronics
Dual Step-Down DC/DC Controller with Digital Power System Management

Dual Step-Down DC/DC Controller with Digital Power System Management

Linear Technology Corp. recently introduced the LTC3887-1, a dual output synchronous step-down dc-dc controller with I²C-based PMBus interface for digital power system management. The LTC3887-1 differs from the previously released LTC3887 by providing a three-state PWM signal, enabling the use of DrMOS, power blocks or similar power stages. The LTC3887-1’s enhanced feature set includes a 70ms power-up time and a fast ADC mode that provides an 8ms update rate for one parameter.

The LTC3887-1 regulates two independent outputs or can be configured for a 2-phase single output from 0.5V to 5.5V. Up to 6 phases can be interleaved and paralleled for accurate sharing among multiple ICs, minimizing input and output filtering requirements for high current or multiple output applications. An integrated amplifier provides true differential remote output voltage sensing, enabling high accuracy regulation, independent of board IR voltage drops. Applications include high current ASIC, FPGA and processor supplies in telecom, datacom, computing and storage markets.

The LTC3887-1 operates over an input voltage ranging from 4.5V to 24V, and it produces ±0.50% accurate output voltages from 0.5V to 5.5V with output currents up to 40A per phase over the full operating temperature range. Highest efficiency is achieved by sensing the voltage drop across the output inductor (DCR) to sense current, or an external sense resistor can be optionally used. Programmable DCR temperature compensation cancels the temperature coefficient of the copper inductor to maintain an accurate and constant-current limit over a broad temperature range.

Accurate timing across multiple chips and event-based sequencing enable the optimization of power-up and power-down of complex, multiple rail systems. Additional features include constant-frequency current-mode control with cycle-by-cycle current limit, adjustable soft-start, a synchronizable switching frequency, and programmable GPIO pins to indicate part status and to provide autonomous recovery from faults.

Configurations for the LTC3887-1 are easily saved to internal EEPROM over the device’s I²C serial interface, using Linear Technology’s LTpowerPlay GUI-based development software. With configurations stored on-chip, the controller can power-up autonomously without burdening the host processor. Default settings can be optionally configured by external resistor dividers for output voltage, switching frequency, phase and device address. Multiple designs can be easily calibrated and configured in firmware to optimize a single hardware design for a range of applications. The converter loop gain does not change as the power supply parameters are modified, so compensation remains optimized for multiple configurations.

The LTC3887-1 is available in a 40-pin 6mm x 6mm QFN package with an operating junction temperature range from -40°C to 125°C. Custom device configuration programming service is available at www.linear.com/program. The 1,000-piece price starts at $5.47 each. 

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