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Smallest PMICs for automotive designs

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By Nick Flaherty


The high-power buck converters and high-power, multiphase buck controllers enables power designers to balance low power consumption with high efficiency and electromagnetic interference (EMI) mitigation. As automotive OEMs move from processors that consume 20W of power to artificial intelligence platforms that consume as much as 500W, space and efficiency becomes critical.

“Today’s vehicles are powerful computers on wheels, with digital instrument clusters, radio head units and related subsystems requiring increasingly higher levels of compute power,” said Chintan Parikh, executive business manager for the Automotive Business Unit at Maxim Integrated. “Power supply designs must carefully balance low power consumption, high efficiency and EMI mitigation in order to meet the design challenges of these high-voltage applications. High-power buck converters and multiphase, high-power buck controllers play a critical role in enabling this technology.”

The new devices have a footprint of 3.5mm x 3.75mm in a flip-chip quad-flat no-leads (FCQFN) packaging that reduces high-frequency switch node ringing and eliminates bond wires to lower MOSFET switch on-resistance and increase efficiency as wellas using spread-spectrum modulation, high switching frequency, forced pulse-width modulation and skip-mode operation to reduce EMI. The parts are pin-compatible parts for four, six and eight amps for flexible power regulation.

The MAX20004, MAX20006 and MAX20008 are 4A, 6A and 8A high-voltage (40V tolerant) synchronous buck converters with integrated high-side and low-side MOSFETs, offering the industry’s lowest switch resistance of 38 and 18 mΩ, respectively, for high efficiency. Key advantages of these pin-compatible devices include 25µA quiescent current, operating input voltages from 3.5V to 36V and 93 percent peak efficiency. All are available in a compact 3.5mm x 3.75mm, 17-pin side-wettable QFN package that reduces high-frequency switch node and improves efficiency.

The MAX20098 220kHz to 2.2MHz synchronous buck controller for applications with mid- to high-power requirements operating with input voltages from 3.5V to 36V (42V tolerant). For efficiency, this device features a quiescent current of 3.5µA in skip mode at 3.3V output  along with a 1µA typical shutdown current specification. Its 3mm x 3mm side-wettable QFN package reduces solution size, and the IC requires few external components, enabling a two-layer PCB design.

The MAX20034 220kHz to 2.2MHz dual synchronous buck controller for high-voltage applications operating with input voltages from 3.5V to 36V (42V tolerant), where one regulator will operate as a fixed 5V or 3.3V output and the other output is adjustable between 1V to 10V. Key efficiency advantages include 17µA quiescent current in skip mode and 6.5µA typical shutdown current. The device is available in a 5mm x 5mm side-wettable QFN package, and it provides up to 2.2MHz switching frequency to enable smaller external components and total solution size.

“Power semiconductors in automotive are projected to grow to more than $13.7 billion by 2023,” said Kevin Anderson, senior analyst for power ICs at IHS Markit. “One of the high-growth areas is the digital cockpit where engineers are introducing new features, more functionality and more powerful systems while staying within a finite area and power budget.”

www.maximintegrated.com

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