Silicon IP builds cost-effective option for over-voltage in battery powered SoCs

October 27, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Until now, says mixed-signal silicon IP provider Dolphin Integration, portable devices supplied by USB, Li-ion or NiMH batteries with voltage levels up to 5.5V could not use standard process devices, such as 3.3-V CMOS I/O transistors. This resulted in fabless companies being forced to use expensive alternatives, such as external regulators or expensive process options such as HV/BCD modules.

Dolphin says it has a cost effective alternative to such solutions with a set of Over-voltage Protection Modules (OPMs). These OPMs can be associated with embedded regulators and extend the benefit of their DELTA offering to enable:

- Over-voltage operation (up to 5.5 V) while using standard process devices, such as 3.3 V devices

- Direct connection to the battery with the capability to protect several regulators, leading to a decrease of the Bill-of-Material

Two OPMs, with and without a retention mode, are available to meet the main challenges facing fabless semiconductor companies:





low-leakage for SoC retention mode

Low power mode quiescent current (at ILOAD = 0 mA)


500 nA

Normal mode quiescent current

(at ILOAD = 0 mA)

15 μA

Area (180 nm)

0.27 mm2

0.59 mm2

Input Voltage Range configurations

[1.9 - 4.4 V] and [2.7 - 5.5 V]


From 180 nm down to 55 nm

These components are part of Dolphin's standardised offering for power management networks: the DELTA Reduced Power Kit Library.

Dolphin Integration;