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DC/DC converter extends battery life in industrial applications

The bi-directional buck/boost converter has a low quiescent current IQ of 60nA, which is one third the IQ of competing boost converters, says the company. The converter integrates a buck mode for supercapacitor charging which, combined with the low IQ results in extending battery life by as much as 20% when compared to commonly used hybrid-layer capacitors (HLCs). Supercapacitor charging and discharging help support peak loads and back up power, which are important for continuous operation in battery-powered industrial applications such as smart meters, smoke detectors, video doorbells and also has applications in medical equipment.

To achieve high efficiency at no- or light-load conditions, in the low milliampere or microampere range requires power supplies to regulate the output while maintaining low supply current in the nA range. TI says the TPS61094 combines the design simplicity of using an integrated buck/boost converter and the extended battery life enabled by high output current and low IQ.

Today's lithium thionyl chloride (Li/SOCI) battery-based designs often manage peak load with HLCs that are expensive and not optimal for controlling charge current. The TPS61094 has a low IQ of 60nA and supercapacitor charging and discharging enabling engineers to replace HLCs with supercapacitors for peak load support and to extend battery life in applications that must run on a single battery for 10 years or more.

Similarly, the TPS61094 can provide back up power in applications that require safe power-down or last-gasp communication during a power outage.

Claimed to have the industry’s lowest-IQ the buck/boost converter has a 2A inductor current limit in boost operation, doubling the output current of competitive boost converters.

The additional output current enables the TPS61094 to support radio standards such as narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), LTE-M, Wi-SUN, MIOTY, Bluetooth and wireless M-Bus over a wider input voltage range. For example, it can support more than 250mA of output current down to an input voltage of 0.7V.

Integrating a buck charger and a boost converter into a single IC for industrial applications, such as smart meters, removes the need for a discrete buck charger, inductor and two external capacitors. This can reduce component count by 50%, freeing up board space.

Integrating the buck charger and boost converter allows design engineers to control the handshake between all functions for a smoother transition between operating modes.

The TPS61094 is available through TI and authorised distributors in a 2.0 x 3.0mm, 12-pin, thin small outline no-lead (WSON) package. Full and custom quantity reels are available. The TPS61094EVM-066 evaluation module is also available.

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