Power Electronics / Power Management


4-switch buck-boost controller

29 January 2020 Power Electronics / Power Management

A common DC-DC converter problem is generating a regulated voltage when the input voltage can be above, below, or equal to the output - that is, the converter must perform both step-up and step-down functions. This scenario is typical when powering vehicle electronics from a nominal 12 V battery, which can vary from engine cold crank (down to 3 V) and load dump (up to 100 V), or a reverse battery voltage from operator error.

There are several DC-DC converter topologies that can perform both step-up and step-down operations, from SEPIC to 4-switch topologies, but none of these solutions passes the input voltage directly to the output without actively switching.

By contrast, the LT8210 from Analog Devices is a synchronous buck-boost controller that can operate in ‘Pass-Thru’ mode, which eliminates EMI and switching losses, and maximises efficiency (up to 99,9%). Pass-Thru operation passes the input directly to the output when the input voltage is within a user programmable window.

The LT8210 operates over an input voltage range of 2,8 V to 100 V, allowing it to regulate from the minimum input voltage during cold crank to the peak amplitude of an unsuppressed load dump. The LT8210 can operate as a conventional buck-boost controller with pin-selectable continuous conduction mode (CCM), pulse skipping, or ‘Burst Mode’ operation, or in the new Pass-Thru mode in which the output voltage is regulated to a programmed window. When the input voltage resides in this window it is passed directly to the output without actively switching the FETs, resulting in ultralow IQ operation and the elimination of switching noise.

For more information contact Conrad Coetzee, Altron Arrow, +27 11 923 9600, ccoetzee@arrow.altech.co.za, www.altronarrow.com


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