Electronic Design

One IC Generates Three Sub-2V Power Rails from a Li-Ion Cell

Design Note 419

Shrinking geometries in IC technology have pushed the operating voltages of today’s electronics well below 2V, presenting a number of design challenges. One common problem is the need for multiple supply voltages: for example, one voltage for a CPU core, another for I/O and still others for peripherals. Sensitive RF, audio and analog circuitry may require additional dedicated quiet supplies, separate from less noise-sensitive digital circuits. As the number of supplies increases, it becomes impractical to use a separate power supply IC for each voltage and special-requirements subsystem. Board area would be quickly consumed by power supplies. One solution to the space crunch is power supply integration, provided by a triple regulator like the LTC®3446—three voltages from a single IC.

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