With Reference Designs, No Need to Reinvent the Wheel

February 27, 2018

Christine Young By: Christine Young
Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Why reinvent the wheel, especially with tight project deadlines always looming? With reference designs that you can download free, you can get a jump on your application and also minimize any development risks. Our reference designs are full application circuits including at least one Maxim IC, designed, built, and extensively tested by our engineers.

Each reference design includes:

  • A detailed design note
  • Verification test results
  • Schematic
  • Bill of materials
  • PCB artwork
  • Gerber files

The documentation is comprehensive, clearly written and easy to follow, so you can be productive with the designs right away. Depending on your project needs, you can use all or only part of a reference design, and save time in your prototyping and designing cycles. "Our reference designs are really a board and a layout that can be used as is in an application," notes Joe McClean, one of Maxim's application engineers.

Many of the newest reference designs in our portfolio are for power supply designs. Let's highlight a few here.

The MAXREFDES1016 features the MAX17509 6.6W dual-phase buck converter. Integrating two 3A internal switch step-down regulators with programmable features, the MAX17509 can be configured as two single-phase 3A power supplies or as one dual-phase, single-output 6A power supply. Designing with the MAX17509 reduces the number of DC-DC regulators in inventory and mitigates noise concerns and electromagnetic interference (EMI). The ability to program the slew rate of the LX switching nodes addresses noise and EMI, and can be an advantageous feature for noise-sensitive applications like high-speed multi-gigabit transceivers in FPGAs, RF, and audio designs. The documentation for this reference design covers a variety of areas, including operation of buck converters, a MAX17509 configuration table, and step-by-step design procedure for a dual-phase buck using the MAX17509.

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Figure 1: MAXREFDES1016 helps you design in a dual-phase buck converter using the MAX17509 step-down DC-DC converter.

For low-to-medium isolated DC-DC power-conversion applications, MAXREFDES1014 demonstrates an isolated no-opto flyback DC-DC converter using the MAX17690 for a 48V DC output application. By eliminating the need for an optocoupler or auxiliary transformer winding on the flyback transformer for voltage feedback across the isolation barrier, the MAX17690 decreases the number of components required and also reduces design complexity. The documentation for this reference design provides details on the benefits of using an isolated no-opto flyback converter, temperature compensation, and step-by-step guidelines on designing this type of converter using the MAX17690.

MAXREFDES1003 details the development of a 150mA, 4-channel LED driver in SEPIC configuration using MAX16813. The MAX16813 is a highly efficient, high-brightness (HB) LED driver with four integrated LED current-sink channels. With its wide input range, this IC is suited for powering HB LEDs for small- to medium-sized LED displays in automotive as well as general lighting applications. A SEPIC converter is a DC-DC voltage converter that can both step-up and step-down an input voltage. The documentation for this reference design highlights the advantages of the SEPIC topology and provides detailed design procedures for a SEPIC LED driver.

From MAXREFDES1015, you’ll learn how to develop a minimum component power-sourcing equipment (PSE) controller for detecting IEEE 802.3af/at devices using MAX5971B. MAX5971B is a single-port power controller that provides powered device discovery, classification, current limit, and DC and AC load-disconnect detections. The documentation for this reference design explains PSE controller operation and the IEEE 802.3af/at standard, and provides detailed design procedures for developing an application circuit using the MAX5971B for DC-disconnect detection using minimal components.

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Figure 2: MAXREFDES1015 helps you design the MAX5971B PSE controller for DC-disconnect.

In MAXREFDES1019, you’ll find the procedure for developing a multiple-output DC-DC converter circuit using three MAX17541G and one MAX17504 step-down controllers. In this design, each buck converter uses the same input with four separate outputs; each output has a different power specification. Among the advantages of using such a circuit: reduced power dissipation, >90% peak efficiency, low shutdown current (0.9µA (typ)), and reliable operation in harsh industrial environments.

Stocking the Designer's Toolbox

These power reference designs are part of Maxim’s portfolio of technical content, designed to help you work as productively as possible. Use these designs and our application notes, Design Solutions, technical blogs, white papers, and the EE-Sim® design and simulation tools to streamline your design process. Download…and you’re done.