More point-of-load (POL) dc-dc converter modules with internal inductors and FETs are hitting the market. The idea is to make designing with switching regulators no more challenging than using old-fashioned three-terminal linear regulators. Linear Technology's LTM4601, LTM4602, and LTM4603 include inductor, power MOSFETs, dc-dc controller, compensation circuitry, and I/O bypass capacitors and have current ratings from 6 to 12 A.
Each device comes in a 15- by 15- by 8-mm land-grid array package. They operate on input voltages from 4.5 to 28 V. The output voltage can be adjusted from 0.6 to 5 V with a single resistor. Besides the high voltage-conversion efficiency implicit in switching POLs (85% to 89% from 2 to 10 A at 2.5- to 3.3-V output, 72% to 82% across the same current range from 1.2 to 1.5 V), the Linear modules can be paralleled (up to four, polyphase) for current sharing.
Voltage tracking and margining options are available. Unit pricing starts at $11.95.