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A mathematical approach to designing capacitor arrays for switching converters

Posted: 31 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:capacitor arrays  buck converters  voltage alteration 

Consumer electrical devices such as portable music players and notebook /desktop computers have ASICs, processors, memories, and LED backlights. These components constitute system loads which require valid voltage to guarantee normal operations, usually provided by voltage-altering converters. These converters often employ switching mode topology, with capacitors used to decouple loads, mainly in an event of transients, or time-varying load current. System designers often see challenges in designing capacitor arrays to be implemented on the output of a buck converter, because mathematical tools for calculating the necessary and sufficient amount of capacitance are not yet established. As a result, system designers might overlook the fact that insufficient capacitance, resulting in invalid voltage, is causing unstable operations of loads, or they are simply wasting component cost and PCB area by implementing surplus capacitance, therefore raising a unit cost of an consumer device unnecessarily. Voltage stepdown converters (buck converters) are equipped with voltage feedback systems on their own. The voltage feedback systems detect the voltage on the load, compare it against the reference voltage, amplify the error, and correct the voltage on the load by adjusting the duty cycle.

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