DC/DC buck-boost converter extends battery life by 50%

September 01, 2020 //By Rich Pell
DC/DC buck-boost converter extends battery life by 50%
Texas Instruments has introduced what it says is the industry's first DC/DC buck-boost converter to combine programmable input current limit and integrated dynamic voltage scaling to extend battery life by at least 50%.

The TPS63900, says the company, maintains the industry's lowest quiescent current (IQ), 75 nA, with 92% efficiency at 10 µA and delivers up to three times more output current than competing devices. The device is offered as enabling engineers to extend the life span of battery-powered industrial and personal electronics applications.

It is a common challenge for engineers, says the company, to design for low IQ while providing enough output current to send signals between connected smart grid applications and a network via commonly used radio-frequency standards, such as narrowband Internet of Things (IoT), Bluetooth Low Energy, and long-range and wireless M-Bus. The TPS63900 is designed to help engineers conserve energy in wirelessly connected applications that run on batteries.

The device integrates dynamic voltage scaling to deliver power while keeping the system at the minimum voltage required to operate efficiently - maximizing battery life and reducing required maintenance for industrial applications. This feature, says the company, enables design engineers to optimize power architectures for ultra-low-power sensors and wireless connectivity integrated circuits, supporting applications that can operate for at least 10 years using the primary battery.

For example, the buck-boost converter can be paired with the company's MSP430FR2155 MCU in security sensors or wireless IoT sensors to monitor the vibration of water pumps for predictive maintenance and help drive down costs. In addition, the TPS63900 efficiently charges supercapacitors to buffer peak loads, protect battery capacity, and extend system lifetime and performance. Fully charged supercapacitors help buffer the energy required to operate components that require high peak currents, such as those found in motorized smart locks.

The TPS63900, says the company, increases the stability of connected applications by reducing up to 50% of the output-voltage ripple caused by load transients. The new buck-boost converter's ultra-fast transient response maintains low IQ while keeping the internal regulation loop active. This capability is particularly beneficial for applications like smart water and gas meters that


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