Supercapacitor backup regulator offers smallest solution

June 01, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Supercapacitor backup regulator offers smallest solution
Analog and mixed-signal chipmaker Maxim Integrated Products has introduced what it claims is the market's smallest and tightest accuracy supercapacitor backup power regulator.

The Continua MAX38889 2.5- to 5.5-V, 3-A reversible buck/boost regulator delivers reversible buck/boost at one-third the size of discrete solutions. It features 94% peak efficiency - 9% higher than the closest competitive solution, says the company - allowing it to support longer backup time, and output regulation of 2.5% to support critical applications that demand high accuracy

"Maxim's Continua family of backup voltage regulators uses advanced switching regulator design to deliver bi-directional buck/boost featuring tight output regulation that minimizes space while increasing power efficiency," says Anil Telikepalli, managing director of the Core Products Group at Maxim Integrated. "This is the third product from our Continua line as Maxim strives to enable always-on applications by solving the design engineer's toughest backup power challenges."

In applications such as smart utility meters or automotive dashboard cameras, the MAX38889 operates in buck mode to charge a backup power source, such as a supercapacitor. When main power goes away, the regulator reverses direction automatically, boosting the supercapacitor voltage to power the system, until main power is restored.

The entire MAX38889 solution, says the company, is 64% smaller than the closest competitor (218 mm 2 vs. 606 mm 2), allowing designers to reduce component count, cut board space and save BOM cost. Smaller size also makes it easier to integrate into new and existing designs with tight space constraints.

The MAX38889 regulates backup power for a wide range of both portable and non-portable applications, such as retail price scanners and surveillance cameras, and others used in home, building, automotive, industrial automation and healthcare IoT. Its key advantages are offered as:

  • Highest Efficiency : 94% peak efficiency is 9% higher than closest competitor
  • Smallest Size : One-third the size of the closest competitive solution
  • Tightest Regulation : Delivers 2.5% voltage regulation demanded by 5-V applications

The MAX38889 is available for $2.36 (1000-up, FOB USA). An evaluation kit - the MAX38889EVKIT - is available for $63. EE-Sim


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