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Linear introduces rugged step-down micron-module regulator
Michael McManus, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Friday 26 October 2012]

Linear Technology Corporation recently introduced the LTM4641, a 4.5V to 38V input, 0.6V to 6V output, 10A step-down micron-module regulator with comprehensive electrical and thermal protection for loads such as processors, ASICs and high-end FPGAs.

The LTM4641 micron-module regulator monitors input voltage, output voltage and temperature conditions. If any user-adjustable trip thresholds are exceeded, the LTM4641 responds within 500ns in the case of an output over-voltage fault, ceasing operation, and if necessary, activating external switches. One switch disconnects the input supply rail while the other discharges the output capacitors to protect the load.

Additionally, when any trip threshold is exceeded, the LTM4641 will issue a logic level fault signal which may be used to initiate an orderly emergency shutdown sequence in the system. The adjustable trip thresholds are accurate to within ±2.7% over the full operating temperature range. As a micron-module regulator, the LTM4641 includes power MOSFETs, DC/DC controller, inductor, compensation and the protection logic circuits in a compact surface mount BGA package. The LTM4641 is designed for point-of-load regulation in robotics and industrial instrumentation, as well as rugged environments such as defense and avionics systems.

When any trip threshold is exceeded, the LTM4641's protection circuitry classifies the fault in one of two categories, latching or non-latching. Normal voltage regulation will automatically resume once a non-latching fault such as input under-voltage, bias input under-voltage or input over-voltage has cleared. For latching faults such as an output over-voltage 38V, 10A rugged step-down micron-module regulator with fail safe load protection or a second input over-voltage threshold, the system must cycle the input power or supply a logic level signal to the LTM4641 in order to resume normal operation. An over-temperature fault can be classified by the user as a latching or non-latching fault by setting a logic level pin. The LTM4641 can be configured to autonomously restart after latchoff fault conditions have cleared.

The output voltage is user adjustable from 0.6V to 6V with ±1.5% total accuracy over line, load and temperature. Additional features include output current sharing for loads requiring more than 10A, externally adjustable soft start, output over-current protection, switching frequency and output voltage tracking.

The LTM4641 is packaged a thermally efficient 15mm x 15mm x 5.01mm RoHS compliant BGA with guaranteed operation over the -40°C to +125°C (E grade and I grade) or -55°C to +125°C (mp grade) internal temperature range. Pricing starts at US$25.95 each for 1,000-piece quantities. The LTM4641 is available for immediate delivery from stock.

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