Supercapacitor-based linear converter for voltage regulator modules
Wickramasinghe, T. C. P. K. (2016). Supercapacitor-based linear converter for voltage regulator modules (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10624
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10624
This thesis investigates a linear converter technique suitable for microprocessor voltage regulator modules (VRMs). The original linear regulator is the patented supercapacitor assisted low-dropout regulator (SCALDO). A less complex, lower cost design was achieved by reducing the number of switches in the original SCALDO and adding a second low dropout regulator (LDO). In the initial implementation of this reduced-switch SCALDO (RS-SCALDO), output regulation failed due to the presence of a parasitic body-diode in standard LDOs. The body-diode forms an unwanted discharge path to ground for the supercapacitor. In order to block this path, an application specific LDO that operates in the third quadrant of a MOSFET current-vs-voltage transfer function was investigated. A 3.5-to-1.5 V RS-SCALDO was designed with a supercapacitor, two LDOs and two switches. Compared with the standard SCALDO approach, this new design halves the number of switches required. Discrete MOSFET-based high-current LDOs were developed and combined with a common feedback control circuit. Voltage identification (VID) capability was implemented using a digital potentiometer. Theoretically, when an LDO converts 3.5 V to 1.5 V a maximum efficiency of 1.5/3.5(~43%) can be achieved. According to the general theory of SCALDO, a single supercapacitor configuration can achieve nearly twice the linear regulator efficiency. The 3.5-to-1.5 V, 5 A RS-SCALDO achieved an approximate end-to-end efficiency of 80%, thus, agreeing with SCALDO general theory. Large-signal analysis was used to model MOSFET non-linearities and predict the performance of LDOs, switches and the overall system. Matlab modeling predictions for body-diode behaviour were cross-checked via SPICE simulation; the results agreed with bench measurements. RS-SCALDO regulators cycle at very low frequencies, usually in the range of millihertz to hertz. Therefore, electromagnetic interference emitted by high-frequency switched-mode VRMs is not an issue here. Compared to typical high-frequency VRMs, RS-SCALDO topology provides similar efficiencies with the high slew-rate and low noise output of a linear regulator. In generalized SCALDO configuration with n supercapacitors, a total of 3n+1 switches required; in contrast RS-SCALDO reduces the switch count to 2n. With the elimination of the body-diode parasitics, the technique can be extended to much higher currents.
University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
- Higher Degree Theses