DC/DC converter runs from low voltage sources

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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Mar 1, 2010

The LTC3108 is a highly integrated step-up DC/DC converter that is designed to start up and run from extremely low input voltage sources.

These include thermoelectric generators (TEGs), thermopiles and small solar cells.

Linear Technology has announced the LTC3108, a highly integrated step-up DC/DC converter designed to start-up and run from extremely low input voltage sources.

Its self-resonant topology steps up from input voltages as low as 20mV.

Small temperature differences can be harvested and used to generate system power instead of traditional battery power.

Energy harvesters are designed for applications requiring very low average power, but require periodic pulses of higher load current.

For example, in many wireless sensor applications the circuitry is only powered to take measurements and transmit data periodically at low duty cycle.

The LTC3108 uses a small standard step-up transformer to provide a complete power-management solution.

Its 2.2V LDO can power an external microcontroller, while its main output is pin selectable to one of four (2.35, 3.3, 4.1 or 5V) fixed voltages to power a wireless transmitter or sensors.

A second switched output can be enabled by the host in order to power devices that do not have a micropower shutdown capability.

The addition of a storage capacitor provides continuous power, even when the input energy source is unavailable.

The LTC3108's low quiescent current (less than 6uA) and high-efficiency design ensure the fastest possible charge times for the output reservoir capacitor.

The combination of the LTC3108's 3 x 4mm DFN package (or SSOP-16) and very small external components ensure a highly compact solution for energy-harvesting applications.

The LTC3108EDE is in a 3 x 4mm DFN package and the LTC3108EGN is available in a SSOP-16 package.

Find out more about this article. Request a brochure, download technical specifications and request samples here.
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