Sunday, February 25, 2024

Industry’s Smallest Buck Regulator Module

By Nidhi Agarwal

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The microBRICK, the industry’s smallest buck regulator, blends compact design, wide voltage range, high efficiency, and versatile configurations for diverse applications.

buck converter

New Yorker Electronics has launched Vishay’s microBRICK synchronous buck regulator module, SiC931, which the company claims to be the industry’s smallest buck regulator module. The module is a compact 10.6mm x 6.5mm x 3mm package with wide input voltage ranges from 4.5V to 60V.

Compared to alternative solutions, these regulator modules are up to 69% smaller, each housing two MOSFETs, an inductor, and a controller. They require minimal external components for configuration and loop compensation, reducing design complexity and time to market. The compact size boosts power density, integrating seamlessly in the data centre, telecom, and industrial applications, efficiently delivering power to FPGAs, ASICs, and SoC core power supplies.

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With controllers consuming minimal quiescent current, these Vishay Siliconix microBRICK regulators achieve up to 97% peak efficiencies. Their versatility is underscored by the ability to configure wide input voltage ranges and adjust output voltages as low as 0.3V. The SiC931 stands out with four programmable switching frequencies. Furthermore, all devices offer adjustable current limits, with the SiC931 featuring a flexible soft start and the PMBus 1.3 compliant.

The regulator modules cater to various applications, including POL converters in servers, cloud computing, high-performance computing, desktop computers, industrial automation, motor drives, tools, surveillance systems, consumer electronics, and 5G telecom equipment. The SiC931 provides forced continuous conduction and power-saving modes. In power-saving mode, the control scheme turns off the low-side MOSFET during zero inductor current, employing a diode emulation mode. The switching frequency adjusts proportionally to load conditions, ensuring optimal efficiency at light loads without a minimum switching frequency limitation.

Adopting a constant on-time (COT) architecture, these regulators deliver ultrafast transient response with minimal output capacitance and tight ripple regulation at light loads. This architecture ensures loop stability irrespective of the output capacitor type, even accommodating low ESR ceramic capacitors. The regulators are equipped with a robust protection feature set, including output overvoltage (OVP) and under voltage protection (UVP), cycle-by-cycle overcurrent protection (OCP), short circuit protection (SCP) with auto-retry, over-temperature protection (OTP), and a power suitable flag, ensuring reliable operation.

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