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Any-cap low dropout voltage regulator

Description

Power management plays a very important role in the current electronics industry. Battery powered and handheld applications require novel power management techniques to extend the battery life. Most systems have multiple voltage regulators to provide power sources to the different

Power management plays a very important role in the current electronics industry. Battery powered and handheld applications require novel power management techniques to extend the battery life. Most systems have multiple voltage regulators to provide power sources to the different circuit blocks and/or sub-systems. Some of these voltage regulators are low dropout regulators (LDOs) which typically require output capacitors in the range of 1's to 10's of µF. The necessity of output capacitors occupies valuable board space and can add additional integrated circuit (IC) pin count. A high IC pin count can restrict LDOs for system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. The presented research gives the user an option with regard to the external capacitor; the output capacitor can range from 0 - 1µF for a stable response. In general, the larger the output capacitor, the better the transient response. Because the output capacitor requirement is such a wide range, the LDO presented here is ideal for any application, whether it be for a SoC solution or stand-alone LDO that desires a filtering capacitor for optimal transient performance. The LDO architecture and compensation scheme provide a stable output response from 1mA to 200mA with output capacitors in the range of 0 - 1µF. A 2.5V, 200mA any-cap LDO was fabricated in a proprietary 1.5µm BiCMOS process, consuming 200µA of ground pin current (at 1mA load) with a dropout voltage of 250mV. Experimental results show that the proposed any-cap LDO exceeds transient performance and output capacitor requirements compared to previously published work. The architecture also has excellent line and load regulation and less sensitive to process variation. Therefore, the presented any-cap LDO is ideal for any application with a maximum supply rail of 5V.

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Date Created
2012

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Modeling & analysis of a closed loop class D audio amplifier for PSR improvement

Description

Class D Amplifiers are widely used in portable systems such as mobile phones to achieve high efficiency. The demands of portable electronics for low power consumption to extend battery life and reduce heat dissipation mandate efficient, high-performance audio amplifiers. The

Class D Amplifiers are widely used in portable systems such as mobile phones to achieve high efficiency. The demands of portable electronics for low power consumption to extend battery life and reduce heat dissipation mandate efficient, high-performance audio amplifiers. The high efficiency of Class D amplifiers (CDAs) makes them particularly attractive for portable applications. The Digital class D amplifier is an interesting solution to increase the efficiency of embedded systems. However, this solution is not good enough in terms of PWM stage linearity and power supply rejection. An efficient control is needed to correct the error sources in order to get a high fidelity sound quality in the whole audio range of frequencies. A fundamental analysis on various error sources due to non idealities in the power stage have been discussed here with key focus on Power supply perturbations driving the Power stage of a Class D Audio Amplifier. Two types of closed loop Digital Class D architecture for PSRR improvement have been proposed and modeled. Double sided uniform sampling modulation has been used. One of the architecture uses feedback around the power stage and the second architecture uses feedback into digital domain. Simulation & experimental results confirm that the closed loop PSRR & PS-IMD improve by around 30-40 dB and 25 dB respectively.

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2012

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Design and analysis of a dual supply class H audio amplifier

Description

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to expect. Class D amplifiers deliver on the goal of increased efficiency, but at the cost of distortion. Class AB amplifiers have low efficiency, but high linearity. By modulating the supply voltage of a Class AB amplifier to make a Class H amplifier, the efficiency can increase while still maintaining the Class AB level of linearity. A 92dB Power Supply Rejection Ratio (PSRR) Class AB amplifier and a Class H amplifier were designed in a 0.24um process for portable audio applications. Using a multiphase buck converter increased the efficiency of the Class H amplifier while still maintaining a fast response time to respond to audio frequencies. The Class H amplifier had an efficiency above the Class AB amplifier by 5-7% from 5-30mW of output power without affecting the total harmonic distortion (THD) at the design specifications. The Class H amplifier design met all design specifications and showed performance comparable to the designed Class AB amplifier across 1kHz-20kHz and 0.01mW-30mW. The Class H design was able to output 30mW into 16Ohms without any increase in THD. This design shows that Class H amplifiers merit more research into their potential for increasing efficiency of audio amplifiers and that even simple designs can give significant increases in efficiency without compromising linearity.

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Date Created
2013

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Monitoring for Reliable and Secure Power Management Integrated Circuits via Built-In Self-Test

Description

Power management circuits are employed in most electronic integrated systems, including applications for automotive, IoT, and smart wearables. Oftentimes, these power management circuits become a single point of system failure, and since they are present in most modern electronic devices,

Power management circuits are employed in most electronic integrated systems, including applications for automotive, IoT, and smart wearables. Oftentimes, these power management circuits become a single point of system failure, and since they are present in most modern electronic devices, they become a target for hardware security attacks. Digital circuits are typically more prone to security attacks compared to analog circuits, but malfunctions in digital circuitry can affect the analog performance/parameters of power management circuits. This research studies the effect that these hacks will have on the analog performance of power circuits, specifically linear and switching power regulators/converters. Apart from security attacks, these circuits suffer from performance degradations due to temperature, aging, and load stress. Power management circuits usually consist of regulators or converters that regulate the load’s voltage supply by employing a feedback loop, and the stability of the feedback loop is a critical parameter in the system design. Oftentimes, the passive components employed in these circuits shift in value over varying conditions and may cause instability within the power converter. Therefore, variations in the passive components, as well as malicious hardware security attacks, can degrade regulator performance and affect the system’s stability. The traditional ways of detecting phase margin, which indicates system stability, employ techniques that require the converter to be in open loop, and hence can’t be used while the system is deployed in-the-field under normal operation. Aging of components and security attacks may occur after the power management systems have completed post-production test and have been deployed, and they may not cause catastrophic failure of the system, hence making them difficult to detect. These two issues of component variations and security attacks can be detected during normal operation over the product lifetime, if the frequency response of the power converter can be monitored in-situ and in-field. This work presents a method to monitor the phase margin (stability) of a power converter without affecting its normal mode of operation by injecting a white noise/ pseudo random binary sequence (PRBS). Furthermore, this work investigates the analog performance parameters, including phase margin, that are affected by various digital hacks on the control circuitry associated with power converters. A case study of potential hardware attacks is completed for a linear low-dropout regulator (LDO).

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Date Created
2019