System Board 6482

MAXREFDES1021: 4A, 1.8V Step-Down DC-DC Converter with Integrated Switches Reference Design Using MAX15050

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Input Type VIN (MIN)
Isolated/Non-Isolated Topology
DC 2.9 5.5 4 Single 1.8 7.2 Non-Isolated Synchronous Buck

The MAX15050 is a high-efficiency switching regulator that delivers up to 4A load current at output voltages from 0.6V to (0.9 x VIN). The device operates from 2.9V to 5.5V, making it ideal for on-board point-of-load and postregulation applications. The total output-voltage accuracy is within ±1% over load, line, and temperature.

The MAX15050 features 1MHz fixed-frequency PWM operation, and pulse-skip mode to improve light-load efficiency. The high operating frequency allows for small-size external components. The low-resistance on-chip nMOS switches ensure high efficiency at heavy loads while minimizing critical parasitic inductances, making the layout a much simpler task with respect to discrete solutions.

The device incorporates a high-bandwidth (> 26MHz) voltage-error amplifier. The voltage-mode control architecture and the voltage-error amplifier permit a Type III compensation scheme to achieve maximum loop bandwidth, up to 200kHz. High loop bandwidth provides fast transient response, resulting in less required output capacitance and allowing for all-ceramic capacitor designs.

The output overload hiccup protection and peak current limit on both high-side and low-side MOSFETs provide for ultra-safe operation in the cases of short-circuit conditions, severe overloads, or in converters with bulk electrolytic capacitors.

The output voltage is adjustable by using two external resistors at the feedback or by applying an external reference voltage to the REFIN/SS input.

The MAX15050 offers a programmable soft-start time using one capacitor to reduce input inrush current. A builtin thermal shutdown protection ensures safe operation under all conditions.

MAXREFDES1021 Board Enlarge+

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Key Features

  • 20µA Startup Current in UVLO
  • Programmable Input Undervoltage Lockout
  • Programmable Input Overvoltage Protection
  • Switching Frequency Synchronization
  • Adjustable Soft-Start
  • Programmable Slope Compensation
  • Fast Cycle-by-Cycle Peak Current Limit
  • 70ns Internal Leading-Edge Current-Sense Blanking
  • Hiccup Mode Output Short-Circuit Protection

Designed, Built, Tested

This document describes the hardware shown in Figure 1. It provides a detailed systematic technical guide to designing a step-down (buck) converter using Maxim’s MAX15050 voltage mode controller. The power supply has been built and tested, details of which follow later in this document.

Design Resources


High-Efficiency, 4A, 1MHz, Step-Down Regulators with Integrated Switches in 2mm x 2mm Package

  • Internal 18mΩ RDS(ON) MOSFETs
  • Pulse-Skip Mode for High-Efficiency Light Load (MAX15050)
  • Continuous 4A Output Current