Step-down converters with low quiescent current for always-on automotive designs

March 28, 2018 //By Nick Flaherty
Step-down converters with low quiescent current for always-on automotive designs
Maxim Integrated has launched two step down DC-DC converters for automotive system designers looking to create small and highly efficient 40V load dump-tolerant always-on applications such as monitoring and voice controls.

The MAX20075 and MAX20076 in peak current mode draw 3.5µA in the low power operating mode, which is key to meeting the stringent OEM IQ consumption requirements of 100µA per module. The converters enable low noise operation via pin-controlled spread spectrum and fixed 2.1MHz operation to meet CISPR 25 Class 5 EMI compliance with a 91% efficiency.

The 2.1MHz operation and internal compensation lowers the design footprint and the bill of materials (BOM) compared to a non-synchronous device that operates in the AM band and the devices use a low minimum on-time mode operation, which allows the converters to support large input-to-output conversion ratios. For example, the V batt input to V out of <3V at 2.1MHz translates to not having to use a secondary supply, which reduces overall BOM cost by $0.30.

"Advancements in automotive technology have led to an increase in complex ECUs per vehicle. Adding more electrical components to a vehicle leads to higher amounts of parasitic battery drain, which has made reducing quiescent current a huge trend in the automotive world," said Zong Zhen, automotive electronics and semiconductor senior analyst for IHS Markit, a global information provider. "The MAX20075 and MAX20076 step-down converters offer another viable option to car manufacturers."

"By offering the lowest IQ in the market, the pin-compatible MAX20075 and MAX20076 presents an overall benefit to the system. This translates to higher peak efficiency and faster start-up time," said Chintan Parikh, Executive Business Manager, Automotive, Maxim Integrated. "The 3.5µA IQ offered with these buck converters are key to meeting stringent OEM quiescent current consumption requirements, which are typically as low as 100µA per module. This enables engineers to build in more processing power for more functionality and other advanced features."

The MAX20075 and MAX20076 meet AEC-Q100, are available in a 12pin 3x3mm TDFN package, and operate over the -40oC to +125oC temperature range. They are available at Maxim's website and the MAX20075EVKIT# and MAX20076EVKIT# evaluation kits are also available.

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