DC-DC converter integrates supercapacitor charging

DC-DC converter integrates supercapacitor charging

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Texas Instruments (TI) has launched a bidirectional buck/boost converter with a low quiescent current (Iq) of 60 nA and support for charging supercapacitors for wireless industrial designs .

The TPS61094 buck/boost converter integrates a buck mode for supercapacitor charging while providing the 60nA IQ, enabling engineers to extend battery life by as much as 20 percent when compared to commonly used hybrid-layer capacitors (HLCs). Supercapacitor charging and discharging help support peak loads and backup power, which are important for continuous operation in battery-powered industrial applications such as smart meters, smoke detectors and video doorbells, as well as medical applications.

Achieve high efficiency at no- or light-load conditions with milliampere or microamperes of current requires power supplies to regulate the output while maintaining ultra-low supply current in the nanoampere range.

Today’s lithium thionyl chloride (Li/SOCl₂) battery-based designs often manage peak load with HLCs that are expensive, and not optimisd for controlling charge current. The TPS61094’s combined low IQ of 60 nA and supercapacitor charging and discharging enable engineers to replace HLCs with supercapacitors for peak load support and to extend battery life as much as 20 per cent in applications that must run on a single battery for 10 years or more. The TPS61094 can also provide backup power in applications that require safe power-down or last-gasp communication during a power outage.

In addition to extending battery life, the buck/boost DC-DC converter has a 2A inductor current limit in boost operation. This doubles the output current compared to other boost converters. This additional output current enables the TPS61094 to support radio standards – such as narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), LTE-M, Wi-SUN, MIOTY, Bluetooth and wireless M-Bus over a wider input voltage range. As an example, the TPS61094 can support more than 250 mA of output current down to an input voltage of 0.7 V.

Applications such as smart meters require several power components for backup power features or peak load support. Integrating a buck charger and a boost converter into a single IC removes the need for a discrete buck charger, inductor and two external capacitors, which can reduce component count by half and free up board space.

The integration of the buck charger and boost converter on the TPS61094 also allows design engineers to easily control the handshake between all functions for easier transition between operating modes.

The TPS61094 is now available through TI and authorized distributors in a 2.0-mm-by-3.0-mm, 12-pin small outline no-lead (WSON) package and is priced at US$1.20 in 1,000-unit quantities. The TPS61094EVM-066 evaluation module is available on for US$99.

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