Buck 13 Click is a high-efficiency step-down converter which provides a highly regulated output voltage derived from the connected power source, rated from 4.5V to 5.5V. The regulated output voltage is 3.3V, the most common choise for various embeded applications. Buck 13 Click is based around an integrated DC-DC converter, labeled as MPM3530. Due to its high efficiency, MPM3530 allows the Click board™ to easily deliver up to 3A of current. The MPM3530 is very reliable, offering over-current and over-voltage protection, as well as a thermal shutdown.
Buck 13 Click is supported by a mikroSDK compliant library, which includes functions that simplify software development.
Equipped with a number of different protection features such as the overload protection, thermal protection, soft startup, this step-down converter offers a very secure and convenient way of reducing the input voltage from a VIN terminal. It provides a clean, low noise and reliable power source. It can be used for different types of power supplies, regulation of the wall transformers output, single board applications powered by high voltage, and for any application that requires clean and efficient step-down voltage conversion.
The step down DC-DC regulator used on this Click board™ is the MPM3530, a 55V 3A ultra-low profile DC-to-DC power module by Monolithic Power Systems (MPS). This IC is a valley current mode controlled power module, meaning that it has a faster response than the traditional peak current mode control, thus better response to transients. This IC requires a minimal number of external components, which makes the whole device pretty robust and easy to work with.
The output voltage is determined by the feedback voltage on the FB pin. Therefore, Buck 13 Click is equipped with a fixed voltage divider calculated to ensure stable, the most frequently used, 3.3V output. The MPM3530 operates at very high switching frequency of 520 kHz, which allows a good compromise between the efficiency and the size of the device with no external coil needed and minimal number of other external components.
Click board™ uses the MCP3001, a 10-bit A/D converter (ADC) which uses the SPI interface, from Microchip. It allows monitoring the output voltage over the SPI interface. This ADC is powered from the +5V mikroBUS™ power rail. The same voltage is used to supply the MCP1541 voltage reference, as well. That way, the stable 4.096V rference voltage is obtained in order to ensure precise measurement of the output voltage. The Click board™ itself requires an external power supply to be connected at the input terminal, labeled as VIN. The VOUT terminal provides the connected load with the regulated 3.3V voltage.
The over-current protection is based on cycle-by-cycle limiting of the inductor current. If the output voltage starts to drop during the current limiting interval, causing the FB voltage to drop under 50% of the internal reference, the device enters the hiccup mode, shutting down the output. After a fixed period, the device will try to re-enable the output. If the short-circuit condition still exists, it will shut down the output again, repeating the whole process, until the short-circuit condition disappears. The hiccup mode greatly reduces the short-circuit current, protecting the device when the output is shorted to ground.
Thanks to its ability to work with the high duty cycle of the internal switching PWM signal, the MPM3530 requires the input voltage to be only about 0.7V above the output voltage, in order to maintain the regulation. However, if the input voltage drops under 3.5V, the device will not be able to operate properly. Therefore, the under-voltage protection shuts down the device, as a protection measure. The under-voltage protection is disabled once the input voltage exceeds 3.9V. This small hysteresis of 0.4V prevents erratic behavior in border-cases.
As mentioned before, the voltage of the power supply at the input terminal should stay within the range between 4V and 55V. However, the voltage at the input is desirable to be approximately 5.7V to 6V at least, in order to provide a good regulation at the output.
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