Mixed-signal ASIC IP minimises power regulator capacitance

September 22, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Reducing the cost of bill-of-material (BoM) remains a vital challenge for SoC integrators in IoT applications, while minimising power consumption demands the complexity of mode control for dynamic voltage and frequency "stepping" (DVFS).

External capacitors and their associated pins are a primary target for BoM reduction, says IP provider Dolphin Integration (Grenoble, France) – up to the “ultimate solution” which would be represented by capacitor-less regulators.

To avoid any risk to output voltage stability during current peaks, which may result in a performance degradation of the load, referring to the maximum current surge only (Ipeak) is insufficient. Dolphin Integration is addressing this issue with its dynamic Load Current Tolerance Template (LCT2), which offers a route to embedded low BoM regulators, ultimately pinless variants. The template enables users to improve load transient performance, determined by the regulator and of the load.

To optimise the combination of regulator and load, a calculator for adapting the load capacitance with filter capacitors must be provided. As well as catering for load steady-state operation, the start-up sequence must be established, beyond only allowing for Imax, which Dolphin accounts for using its dynamic In-rush Current Tolerance Template (ICT2).

Together, LCT2 and ICT2:

- secure the efficiency of regulators beyond guess-work

- optimise a capless regulator for the load internal capacitance

- enable parallel development of loads and regulators with template budgets

- make good use of the embedded calculator for optimising the overall Load Transient performance.

Overall, Dolphin Integration empowers SoC integrators to embed and to optimise the whole power network with its complete offering of regulators, compliant with the DELTA Standard.

Dolphin Integration; www.dolphin.fr