Synchronous buck converters have become the obvious choice of design for high efficiency voltage down-conversion applications and find wide scale usage in today's IC industry. The use of digital control in synchronous buck converters is becoming increasingly popular because of its associated advantages over traditional analog counterparts in terms of design flexibility, reduced use of off-chip components, and better programmability to enable advanced controls. They also demonstrate better immunity to noise, enhances tolerance to the process, voltage and temperature (PVT) variations, low chip area and as a result low cost. It enables processing in digital domain requiring a need of analog-digital interfacing circuit viz. Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). A Digital to Pulse Width Modulator (DPWM) acts as time domain DAC required in the control loop to modulate the ON time of the Power-MOSFETs. The accuracy and efficiency of the DPWM creates the upper limit to the steady state voltage ripple of the DC - DC converter and efficiency in low load conditions. This thesis discusses the prevalent architectures for DPWM in switched mode DC - DC converters. The design of a Hybrid DPWM is presented. The DPWM is 9-bit accurate and is targeted for a Synchronous Buck Converter with a switching frequency of 1.0 MHz. The design supports low power mode(s) for the buck converter in the Pulse Frequency Modulation (PFM) mode as well as other fail-safe features. The design implementation is digital centric making it robust across PVT variations and portable to lower technology nodes. Key target of the design is to reduce design time. The design is tested across large Process (+/- 3σ), Voltage (1.8V +/- 10%) and Temperature (-55.0 °C to 125 °C) and is in the process of tape-out.
- Design of a digitally controlled pulse width modulator for DC-DC converter applications
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by Amit Kumar