Texas Instruments Introduces New Type of Linear Regulator

Texas Instruments said that its latest linear regulator eliminates the need for a number of discrete components, resulting in around 75 percent higher efficiency and 100 percent more power density compared to competing products. The company said that the new linear regulator, the TPS7A78, delivers higher efficiency and lower noise while enabling the use of smaller power supplies.

The company's latest chip, which was introduced at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) on Monday, is based on a new switched-capacitor architecture.  The chip is designed to replace many of the components—including the bridge rectifier, inductors, transformers, circuit breakers and interrupersthat typically have to be combined to create a linear regulator, which is used in electronic devices to automatically maintain a constant output voltage.

Combining all these components into a single chip shrinks down the linear regulator by around 25 percent, resulting in higher overall power density. Texas Instruments designed a dynamic active bridge to pre-regulate the input voltage to the linear regulator, reducing the part's standby power by around 75 percent compared to other capacitor-drop designs. The linear regulator, which measures 5-millimeters by 6.5-millimeters, delivers up to half a watt from AC to DC. 

Texas Instruments, the largest supplier of analog semiconductors by sales, said that its latest linear regulator would cost customers a dollar each in 1,000-unit orders. Sales of power management chip totaled around $33 billion last year, an increase of 13 percent year over year, market researcher DataBeans estimates. The growth was largely driven by strong sales of switching regulators, MOSFETs and IGBT devices, according to DataBeans.

TAGS: Analog
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