Active-Clamped, Spread-Spectrum, Current-Mode PWM Controllers

Active-Clamped, Spread-Spectrum, Current-Mode PWM Controllers with Adjustable Frequency from 100kHz to 600kHz

Please check latest availability status for a specific part variant.


The MAX5974_ provide control for wide-input-voltage, active-clamped, current-mode PWM, forward converters in Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) powered device (PD) applications. The MAX5974A/MAX5974C are well-suited for universal or telecom input range, while the MAX5974B/MAX5974D also accommodate low input voltage down to 10.5V.

The devices include several features to enhance supply efficiency. The AUX driver recycles magnetizing current instead of wasting it in a dissipative clamp circuit. Programmable dead time between the AUX and main driver allows for zero-voltage switching (ZVS). Under light-load conditions, the devices reduce the switching frequency (frequency foldback) to reduce switching losses.

The MAX5974A/MAX5974B feature unique circuitry to achieve output regulation without using an optocoupler, while the MAX5974C/MAX5974D utilize the traditional optocoupler feedback method. An internal error amplifier with a 1% reference is very useful in nonisolated design, eliminating the need for an external shunt regulator.

The devices feature a unique feed-forward maximum duty-cycle clamp that makes the maximum clamp voltage during transient conditions independent of the line voltage, allowing the use of a power MOSFET with lower breakdown voltage. The programmable frequency dithering feature provides low-EMI, spread-spectrum operation.

The MAX5974_ are available in 16-pin TQFN-EP packages and are rated for operation over the -40°C to +85°C temperature range.

MAX5974A, MAX5974B: Typical Application Circuit MAX5974A, MAX5974B: Typical Application Circuit Enlarge+

Key Features

  • Peak Current-Mode Control, Active-Clamped Forward PWM Controller
  • Regulation Without Optocoupler (MAX5974A/MAX5974B)
  • Internal 1% Error Amplifier
  • 100kHz to 600kHz Programmable ±8% Switching Frequency, Synchronization Up to 1.2MHz
  • Programmable Frequency Dithering for Low-EMI, Spread-Spectrum Operation
  • Programmable Dead Time, PWM Soft-Start, Current Slope Compensation
  • Programmable Feed-Forward Maximum Duty-Cycle Clamp, 80% Maximum Limit
  • Frequency Foldback for High-Efficiency Light-Load Operation
  • Internal Bootstrap UVLO with Large Hysteresis
  • 100µA (typ) Startup Supply Current
  • Fast Cycle-by-Cycle Peak Current-Limit, 35ns Typical Propagation Delay
  • 115ns Current-Sense Internal Leading-Edge Blanking
  • Output Short-Circuit Protection with Hiccup Mode
  • Reverse Current Limit to Prevent Transformer Saturation Due to Reverse Current
  • Internal 18V Zener Clamp on Supply Input
  • 3mm x 3mm, Lead-Free, 16-Pin TQFN-EP


  • Active-Clamped Forward DC-DC Converters
  • High-Power PD (Beyond the 802.3af/at Standard)
  • IP Phones
  • PoE IEEE® 802.3af/at Powered Devices
  • Security Cameras
  • Wireless Access Nodes

MAX5974AEVKIT: Evaluation Kit for the MAX5974A
MAX5974CEVKIT: Evaluation Kit for the MAX5974C
Request Reliability Report for: MAX5974C 
Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C   Material Composition  

Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

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