Wide Input Voltage Buck Converter Powers USB Type-C Transceivers in Next-Generation Devices

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Ideal for battery-powered applications, Maxim Integrated’s tiny MAX77596 allows always-on operation.

Designers of USB Type-C small form factor devices can now create always-on rails with the ultra-low quiescent current MAX77596 buck converter from Maxim Integrated. Next-generation products that utilize the high data rates and increased power transfer capability of USB Type-C ports will require low-voltage supply rails to power necessary Type-C port controllers. Devices utilizing the Power Delivery (PD) voltage range (5V to 20V) can now generate an always-on (1.8V/3.3V/5.0V) digital supply rail for the controller using the MAX77596. Operating from a supply as low as 3.5V and as high as 24V, the MAX77596 step-down converter can regulate from traditional 5V USB power as well as the 20V upper-end of the PD range.

Portable gadgets—such as tablets, notebooks, cameras, and drones—can easily evolve to Type-C with PD using the flexible MAX77596 power supply. Previously, customers designing in a power supply for USB Type-C port controllers had to compromise on either input voltage range, quiescent current, or size. A two-chip solution would often be required—a low input voltage linear regulator in parallel with a higher input voltage switcher to cover the wide voltage range of the PD standard. The MAX77596 has a unique combination of wide input voltage range, low quiescent current, and compact TDFN package that results in reduced design time and smaller solution size compared to a two-chip solution.

“We have leveraged Maxim’s strengths in power management and integration to bring one of the smallest wide input voltage buck converters to market. The MAX77596 simplifies the design process for customers because they can now use one chip instead of two,” said Samay Kapoor, Senior Business Manager, Mobility Power at Maxim Integrated. “The MAX77596 also helps engineers minimize power consumption and extend battery life for the end application.”

 The MAX77596 buck converter offers fixed 3.3V and 5V-output versions, and an adjustable version that allows users to program the output voltage between 1V and 10V with a resistor-divider. The converter can support up to 300mA DC loads. The MAX77596 is a robust IC with short-circuit and thermal protection, 6.67ms internal soft-start minimizing inrush current, proven current-mode control architecture, and up to 42V input voltage tolerance.

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