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By Rich Handley

STMicroelectronics Unveils Energy-Efficient Step-Down Converters for IoT Devices

STMicroelectronics has announced that its ST1PS01 step-down converters are engineered for low-quiescent current and high efficiency, to help companies save energy with point-of-load supplies and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as asset trackers, wearables, smart sensors and smart meters.

Leveraging synchronous rectification, the device provides efficiency of 92 percent at 400mA full load and 95 percent when delivering 1mA, the company reports. Its design features keep the quiescent current to 500nA and include a low-power voltage reference. It comes with a pulse-frequency counter for controlling converter current at light load, with two high-speed comparators to help minimize output ripple.

Integrated feedback-loop compensation, soft-start circuitry and power switches are provided, and the typical inductor value is 2.2µH. Output-voltage selection logic saves external voltage-setting components, while providing the flexibility required to configure modules digitally at the point of manufacture, or to let a host system change the output voltage on the fly. Eight variants, each with four optional output-voltage settings, allow a choice of regulated outputs, ranging from 3.3V to 0.625V. All models feature a Power-good indicator.

The input-voltage range is from 1.8 to 5.5 volts, increasing flexibility for designers by allowing various battery chemistries or configurations, as well as extending runtime as the battery discharges. ST1PS01 regulators are suitable for devices powered from energy-harvesting systems and feature a low noise-architecture that allows use in noise-sensitive applications.

An evaluation board, model STEVAL-1PS01EJR, helps developers to utilize the ST1PS01's high energy efficiency and feature integration, according to the company. The ST1PS01 regulators are now in full production, packaged as 400µm-pitch flip-chip devices measuring 1.11 millimeters by 1.41 millimeters (0.04 inch to 0.06 inch), and are priced from $0.686 for orders of 1,000 pieces.

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