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PWM offers unique partition of SMPS functions

Posted: 16 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:feedback loop  intelligent SMPS  PWM 


Microchip Technology Inc. has announced the MCP1631 2MHz, high-speed pulse width modulator (PWM). The highly integrated device contains a 1A integrated MOSFET driver, high-speed comparator for overvoltage protection, and both battery-current and voltage-sense amplifiers in one small package. Protection features, such as undervoltage lockout and overtemperature protection, come standard with the PWM, which is capable of charging multiple battery chemistries, including Li-ion, NiHM, NiCd and lead acid.

The MCP1631 PWM provides a means to close the feedback loop in switch-mode power supplies (SMPS) that use MCUs for general system intelligence and control. The integration of the PWM's SMPS input and output interface via its voltage comparator, battery-voltage and current-sense amplifiers, plus its 1A MOSFET driver, enable designers to use this single device to perform many different functions in their designs. The result is a smaller design footprint and lower overall cost.

Additionally, the MCP1631 is controlled by an MCU that is easily programmable, meaning that exact charge profiles for a variety of battery-charging systems can be accurately met, while closing the feedback loop with the speed and precision needed for safe charging and long battery life. The PWM's undervoltage lock out (UVLO) and overtemperature protection features enhance the safety of battery-charger designs.

"The MCP1631 PWM offers a unique partition of SMPS functions," continued Art Eck, senior product marketing manager with Microchip's analogue and interface products division. "Recognising the complexity of closing the feedback loop in such control architectures, the PWM provides a means for doing so, while using a microcontroller for system control."

High-voltage versions of the MCP1631 PWM are available, which operate from 6V to 16V and include an LDO. The standard versions of the device operate from 3V to 5.5V, and do not include a LDO. Possible applications include handheld medical, consumer and industrial electronic devices that require power management and SMPS technology, with a focus on battery charging. Examples include intelligent power supplies, smart battery chargers, RF remote devices, handheld scanners, parallel power supplies and AC power factor correction.

The MCP1631 battery charger reference design is available to help designers evaluate the MCP1631HV in their applications. The design includes a PIC16F883 MCU, which generates the proper charge algorithm and selects the battery type and number of cells for the application. It operates from a 12V input and is capable of charging 1- or 2-cell Li-Ion, or 1 to 4 NiMH batteries in series.

With availability in the ultrasmall 4mm x 4 mm QFN package, as well as in standard 20-pin TSSOP and SSOP packages, the PWM meets the needs of compact, cutting-edge designs, as well as traditional designs. Samples are available today, and the device can be purchased today at Microchip's online store.

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