Dual-mode regulator works as PWM, LDO

Phoenix – ON Semiconductor's NCP1501 can alternate between functioning as a pulse-width modulation (PWM) buck converter and low-dropout (LDO) regulator. It thus delivers 92 percent power efficiency at heavy current loads and reduces noise and quiescent current at light loads. The dual-mode device has been designed to manage power in such applications as cell phones, PDAs and digital cameras.

High-efficiency voltage conversion is maintained throughout the range of operating conditions by using PWM mode for normal- to high-current loads, then switching to LDO mode during very light loads to eliminate the PWM circuit's quiescent current, switching losses and noise. Integrated MOSFETs, current ramps and compensation techniques simplify the circuit-board design of power management systems that drive portable devices. The component also features overvoltage, current limit and thermal-protection circuits for system safety.

The dual-mode architecture offers designers the advantage of highly efficient power system performance during both full load and standby operating conditions, said Andy Khayat, product-marketing director for analog products. The NCP1501 will supply up to 300 milliamps to the load, meeting the requirements of most portable equipment microprocessor cores and baseband processors.

With an input voltage range of 2.7 to 5.2 V, the device is able to operate directly from a one-cell lithium-ion battery or a three-cell nickel-metal-hydride battery.

The NCP1501 is offered in a 3 x 5-mm Micro-8 package. It is priced at $1.10 per unit in 4,000-unit quantities.

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