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AN11119

Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC
conversion
Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 Application note
Document information
Info Content
Keywords DC-to-DC converter, charge pump, buck converter, boost converter,
small-signal MOSFET
Abstract This application note explores different methods of DC-to-DC conversion.
It includes some examples of DC-to-DC down-converters using
small-signal MOSFETs.
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Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 2 of 33
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NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

Revision history
Rev Date Description
2 20120705 Figure 24: changed
1 20120504 Initial revision
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
1. Introduction
In modern electronic designs various supply voltages need to be generated. In most
cases power supply provides one or a few different DC voltages. These voltages need to
be converted to another voltage for several functional units in the application. Voltage
conversion can work in both directions: it can be step up or step down. This application
note presents different methods of DC-to-DC conversion.
Using linear voltage regulators for voltage conversion was common, even if a voltage had
to be reduced significantly or if the load currents were high. Because linear voltage
regulator works as a controlled series resistor, a lot of energy is dissipated thermally.
Due to the environmental requirement to improve energy efficiency of electronic
equipment, Switch mode power supplies are replacing linear voltage regulators. In Switch
mode power supplies, energy is stored in the magnetic field of inductors or as a charge in
capacitors. Ohmic loss of energy has to be avoided as much as possible.
Newly developed electronic components for implementation of switches, such as modern
MOSFETs, support design of highly efficient power supplies. Small-signal MOSFETs with
low drain-source on-state resistance R
DSon
values and good switching performance open
a new application area for medium power Switch mode DC-to-DC conversion. Although
fully integrated solutions are available, applications with external switching stages are
widely used due to flexibility and cost reasons.
2. DC-to-DC conversion methods
2.1 Linear voltage regulation
Although Switch mode power supplies are replacing linear voltage regulators, there are
many application areas where this approach is still used. Linear voltage regulators are
found where the output voltage needs to be free from switching ripple and overlaid
distortion. Supply for analog-to-digital converters (ADC) and digital-to-analog converters
(DAC) and analog circuit parts with high signal-to-noise requirements are good examples.
Often such stabilizers are put behind Switch mode voltage converter to achieve a very
clean output voltage for the circuit block behind.
Figure 1 presents simple circuit diagram for voltage stabilizer. The output voltage is:
(1)
where V
Z
is Zener voltage and V
BE
is base-emitter voltage of transistor T1.
The transistor has total power dissipation:
(2)
The first part of the addition contains dominating part of the losses. It increases with
voltage difference from the input to the output and the load current. In this circuit example,
an NXP Semiconductors low collector-emitter saturation voltage V
CEsat
transistor is
applied. It offers high and constant gain amplification. This means low dependency on DC
current gain h
FE
versus collector current and the advantage of low V
CEsat
.
V
OUT
V
Z
V
BE
– =
P
tot
V (
IN
V
OUT
) I
load
× – V
BE
I
B
× + =
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
This design is beneficial because it keeps voltage drop across the regulator as small as
possible. Linear voltage regulators that need low voltage on top of the output voltage for
proper stabilization are called low dropout regulators (LDO).
Along with minimum dropout voltage, the quiescent current I
q
is an important parameter
with respect to the energy efficiency. This parameter defines the current that flows into the
circuit when no load is present.
(3)
A circuit example:

If requirements for quality of the line and load regulation are high, more sophisticated
circuits need to be used. These contain voltage reference with high temperature stability
and more precise feedback control with an error amplifier.
Fig 1. Simple linear voltage regulator with Zener diode and BISS transistor in the load
path.
I
q
V
IN
V
Z
– ( ) R1 =
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Figure 2 shows an example using TL431BFDT shunt regulator as an error amplifier with
an external series load regulation transistor.
For additional features such as protection against thermal damage and current limitation,
typical choice is an integrated regulator. An example of such a device is NX1117.
Maximum nominal output current is 1 A. Dropout voltage is the difference between V
IN

and V
OUT
. Maximum dropout voltage of NX1117 is 1.2 V for 800 mA load current.
LDOs specifications contain additional key parameters. Line regulation parameter shows
output voltage change in response to input voltage change. Output regulation states
stability of the output voltage for different load currents, for example 0 mA versus 800 mA.
Ripple rejection indicates reduction of a ripple after rectification achieved with Graetz
bridge and a capacitor added at the output. Therefore this parameter is measured for
120 Hz sine wave overlaid onto input voltage. This is a scenario adapted to 60 Hz line
supply system. An additional parameter is stability of the output voltage versus
temperature and spread of nominal output voltage for an LDO at a nominal operating
point.
Fig 2. Linear voltage regulator with a TL431BFDT as an error amplifier
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
Figure 3 shows a simple example with adjustable version of NX1117. V
OUT
can be
calculated as:
(4)
Adjust current I
adj
is typically 50 µA for NX1117 and therefore the second term can be
neglected. Reference voltage V
ref
is 1.25 V for the adjustable NX1117. In addition to
adjustable type many regulator types with fixed output voltages are available. In this case,
the reference pin is connected to the ground and divider with R1 and R2 is integrated.
The dissipated power of fixed regulator is:
(5)

Fig 3. Adjustable linear voltage regulator NX1117CADJZ
V
OUT
V
ref
1
R2
R1
------- +
\ .
| |
I
adj
R1 · + =
P
tot
V
IN
V
OUT
– ( ) I
OUT
V
IN
I
GND
× + × =
NX1117CADJZ V
OUT
V
IN
R1
R2
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
2.2 Voltage conversion with a charge pump
In some applications, a simple voltage inversion or a doubling of voltage is required.
Sometimes only a low current is needed. An example of such application is generation of
negative voltage for operational amplifier or comparator or boosted voltage for high-side
switch of a buck converter. The latter topology is discussed in more detail further in this
document. Usage of charge pumps is a common method of DC-to-DC conversion without
disadvantage of generating large losses. Charge pumps use capacitors for energy
storage. The principle is that a capacitor is charged and then shifted up or down to obtain
a higher voltage or to get an inverted voltage.
Figure 4 shows an example of such circuit on condition of ideal diodes without forward
voltage loss. A generator is providing a square wave signal. It delivers a signal with low
level of 0 V and high level of V
IN
. If the generator outputs a high signal, C2 is charged.
When the generator output switches to the ground, the positive pole of the capacitor is
connected to the ground. Due to the charged capacitor, the node where C2 is connected
to the cathode of D4 and the anode of D2 has a voltage level of V
IN
. The diode D4
becomes conductive and C4 is charged to negative voltage. V
OUT2
becomes inverted V
IN

after a few cycles.

When the output of the generator is at low level, C1 is charged to V
IN
via D3 through the
upper signal path. Also C3 gets charged to V
IN
via D3 and D1. When the output changes
to the high state, the negative pole of the charged capacitor is shifted up to V
IN
. Capacitor
C3 is charged to double V
IN
in the ideal case after a few switching cycles.
Fig 4. Charge pump diagram with inverted and doubled output voltage
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
In practice, forward voltage of diodes reduces output voltage. This means that output
voltage of the discussed voltage doubling is decreased by twice V
F
compared to lossless
and ideal condition.

Figure 5 shows simulation result for the start-up of voltage doubling with charge pump and
BAT54 Schottky diodes. The input voltage V
IN
is 5 V, capacitor C1 is 22 µF and C3 is
10 µF. The load is 1 kO. The trace shows that theoretical output voltage of 10 V is not
reached. If such a circuit has low supply voltage, forward voltage losses of diodes become
a significant problem. In order to improve it, switches, which are usually implemented with
MOSFETs, can replace diodes.
(1) V
OUT
(2) V
IN
Fig 5. Voltage doubling with a charge pump, BAT54 Schottky diodes
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0
2
4
6
8
10
time (ms)
V
(V)
(1)
(2)
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
2.3 Topologies of voltage converters with inductances
Application areas of charge pumps described in previous chapter are usually limited to
low current applications. For higher output power and highly energy-efficient voltage
converters, the best solution is topology with inductors. With a small topology modification
down-, up- and up-down converters can be implemented.
2.3.1 DC-to-DC down-converter
Figure 6 shows the circuit diagram of a simple DC-to-DC down-converter. In contrast to a
linear regulator, this circuit would have 100 % efficiency in case of ideal components
application. In practice, there are losses in switching transistor because the on-resistance
is not equal to 0 O and also because transistor needs switching time, which introduces
switching losses. Other components add losses too. Inductor has an ohmic resistance
from the wire of the windings and magnetic core adds losses too. Magnetic core losses
result from the change of the magnetic field which causes motion of small magnetic
domains. The bigger the hysteresis of the core material, the bigger are these losses. Eddy
currents cause further loss in the magnetic core of an inductor. Changing magnetic fields
can induce circulating loops of current which heat up the ferromagnetic material. For high
frequency switching, the current in the wire no longer uses the whole cross-section,
instead it concentrates closer to the surface. This is a well-known skin effect which leads
to higher ohmic losses.
Also the output capacitor has a residual resistance that leads to energy losses and a
temperature increase. Finally, the diode introduces forward voltage losses and reverse
current losses. These mechanisms and facts reduce the energy efficiency of DC-to-DC
converters from 75 % to 98 % in real life conditions.

The P-channel FET Q1 works as high-side switch. When the FET is switched on, the
current in the inductor L1 increases with a linear curve ,
V
OUT
is constant.
Fig 6. Simple DC-to-DC down-converter
I A
L
t
on
L1 ( ) V
IN
V
OUT
· ( ) × =
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
When the switch is opened, the current continuously flows via the path of the diode D1.
The cathode of D1 is negative with the forward voltage V
F
against ground. The current
decreases linearly. C2 buffers the output voltage. The bigger it is, the smaller the ripple
will be.
Figure 7 depicts a SPICE simulation. The high-side switch is implemented with NX2301P
P-channel FET. It works at the voltage supply V1. The inductance of the inductor is
chosen to 68 µH, the output voltage is filtered with 10 µF capacitor. PMEG2010AEH
Schottky diode is selected as a free-wheeling diode. To control NX2301P, a N-channel
driver FET is implemented, which is switched from a square wave generator with 3.3 V
high level (V2). In this example, the switching frequency is 100 kHz. A load resistor of
10 O is connected to the output.

Figure 8 shows simulation result. The current I
L1
which flows through the inductor shows a
linear increase while Q1 is switched on. The voltage at SW node V
SW
nearly equals to the
input voltage. When Q1 is switched off, the current through the inductor decreases. The
signal SW changes to a negative voltage of about 300 mV, which is the forward voltage of
the Schottky diode. The output current is the average of the triangle shaped waveform
and is about 330 mA. The output voltage V
OUT
is stable at roughly 3.25 V.
In the abovementioned example, the current flows through the inductance for the whole
period of the switching cycle. This mode is called continuous mode of a DC-to-DC
converter. Below is a calculation of output voltage. The voltage at an inductor is:
(6)
or
(7)
Fig 7. SPICE simulation diagram for a simple DC-to-DC down-converter using NX2301P
as high-side switch and PMEG2010AEH as low-side Schottky diode.
V
L
L dIL dt ( ) × =
V
L
L = I
L
A t A ( ) ×
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
so
(8)
The stored energy in an inductor is:
(9)
For the Stationary mode while switch is closed, the energy increase in the inductor must
be identical to the energy loss while switch is open.
Neglecting R
DSon
losses in the switch and the forward voltage of the diode, we get the
formula for ∆I
L
:
(10)
(11)
where T is cycle time and the duty cycle D is:
(12)
(13)
In our example:
(14)
If the duty cycle is 1 as a corner case, the switch is always closed and the output voltage
equals the input voltage. If the duty cycle is smaller than 1, the output voltage is reduced
by factor D.
The ripple of the current is:
(15)
In our example:
(16)
I
L
V
L
L t A × = A
E L 2 I
2
× =
I
L
V
IN
V
OUT
– ( ) t
on
× V
OUT
t
off
× = = A
V
OUT
V
IN
t
on
t
on
t
off
+ ( ) t
on
T = =
D t
on
T =
V
OUT
V
IN
D × =
V
OUT
4 5 V , 7 2 , 10 ( ) × 3 24 V , = =
I
L
V
IN
V
OUT
– ( ) L t
on
× = A
I
L
4 5 V , 3 24 V , – ( ) 68 µH 7 2 µs , × 133 mA = = A
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

If the load current is increased in the continuous mode, the output voltage stays constant
(ideal components) . This means that duty cycle for the switch does not need to be
changed to a significant extent from a DC-to-DC controller IC as long as the converter
runs in the continuous mode. There is a current limit where the continuous mode is left.
A relevant equation is below:
(17)
If curve 3 on Figure 8 moves down by decreasing the output current until the x-axis is
touched, the limit of the continuous mode is reached. From this point onward the duty
cycle has to be reduced in order to keep the same output voltage.
(1) V
SW
(2) V
OUT
(3) I
L1
Fig 8. Curves of the current through L1, SW node voltage and output voltage
0 10 20 30 40 50
-1 160
0.1 208
1.2 256
2.3 304
3.4 352
4.5 400
time (ms)
V
(V)
Ì
L1
(mA)
(1)
(2)
(3)
I A
L
2 I
L average ( )
× 2 I
load
× = =
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
If non-continuous mode is reached, the voltage curve of SW node of the circuit changes
significantly. Normally there is roughly a square wave between V
IN
and ÷V
F
. If the current
through the inductance reaches 0 A, the voltage at the diode changes from forward
direction to reverse. The diode blocks the output capacitor, which is charged to V
OUT
from
being discharged via L1 (Q1 is still closed). After the current through L1 went down to
zero, SW node shows an oscillation supported by the resonance circuit of L1 and C
OUT
.
Figure 9 shows this typical behavior. Circuit on Figure 7 was modified by reducing the
inductance of L1 to 0.68 µH for this experiment. This leads to a higher current ripple, and
a non-continuous mode.

Figure 10 shows a change in the down-converter topology to improve efficiency of the
simple circuit. The Schottky diode generates forward voltage losses for the time period
when high-side switch is opened. A MOSFET can replace a diode. The low-side switch
needs to be turned on when the upper FET is switched off. The controller has to take care
that there is never an overlap of the on-states of both transistors in this case the switching
stage would create a short circuit with a significant current peak, high losses and risk to
damage the FETs. Because every MOSFET contains a body-diode from the source to the
drain, the circuit would in principle work even if Q2 is never switched on. In this case, the
body-diode of Q2 would work like a Schottky diode in the simple topology on Figure 6.
Therefore the turn-on time of Q2 is not very critical. If Q2 switches on after Q1 is closed,
the body diode conducts the current from L1.
(1) V
SW
(2) V
OUT
(3) I
L1
Fig 9. Converter in a non-continuous condition, current curve of I
L
reaches the
x-axis at 0 A, curve of SW node jumps from ÷V
F
to an oscillation around V
OUT
0 5 10 15 20
-4 -0.5
-2 0
0 0.5
2 1
4 1.5
6 2
time (ms)
V
(V)
Ì
L1
(A)
(1)
(2)
(3)
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

2.3.2 DC-to-DC up-converter
In the previous chapter, inductor-based DC-to-DC down conversion was discussed. With
a small change in the topology, the down-converter can be changed into an up-converter.
Figure 11 shows the topology of a simple DC-to-DC up-converter. If the low-side switch
FET Q1 is closed, the current in the inductance increases:
(18)
The diode D1 is driven in reverse mode because the anode is connected to the ground
and the cathode is connected to the positive voltage V
OUT
at C2. If the switch is closed,
the current I
L
continues to flow through D1 into the output. If the converter runs in a
stationary mode, we can calculate:
(19)
(20)
(21)
where the duty cycle is:
(22)
(23)
(24)
Fig 10. Synchronous DC-to-DC down-converter (FETs including body-diodes)
I
L
V
IN
t
on
× = A
I
L
V
IN
L t
on
× V
OUT
V
IN
– ( ) L t
off
× = = A
V
IN
t
on
V
OUT
V
IN
– ( ) = × t
off
×
V
OUT
V
IN
t (
on
t
off
× 1) + =
D t
on
T =
T t
on
t
off
+ =
V
OUT
V
IN
t
on
t
off
+ ( ) × t
off
V
IN
T × T t
on
– ( )
V
IN
1 × 1 t
on
T – ( )
V
IN
1 × 1 D – ( ) =
=
= =
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
The corner cases of the equation show that for D = 0, which means that the transistor is
never switched on, V
OUT
= V
IN
. It makes sense to consider lossless components. Lossless
means a diode with no forward voltage and an inductance without an ohmic resistance of
the windings and the additional loss mechanisms discussed in the previous chapter. If D
gets close to 1, the output voltage increases rapidly. This is critical for safe operation
because high duty cycle can result in very high voltages at the FETs drain.

Figure 12 shows SPICE simulation. The low-side switch is implemented with PMV20XN
N-channel MOSFET in SOT23 package and PMEG2010AEH Schottky diode. The
converter is switched with 100 kHz signal control signal with a duty cycle of 0.5.

Fig 11. Simple DC-to-DC up-converter
Fig 12. SPICE simulation diagram for a simple DC-to-DC up-converter with PMV20XN
N-channel FET and PMEG2010AEH Schottky diode
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
Figure 13 shows simulation results. Curve 2 represents output voltage. For ideal
components, the output voltage would be twice as high as the input due to the duty cycle
of 0.5. In practice, the forward voltage of the diode reduces the output voltage. Curve 1
shows drain voltage V
D
of the N-channel FET. It switches between ground level and
V
D(max)
and equals:
(25)
In the simulated case with the duty cycle D = 0.5, .

(1) V
D
(2) V
OUT
(3) I
L1
Fig 13. Simulation results, simple up-converter
V
D max ( )
V
IN
1 × 1 ( D) – V
F
+ =
V
D max ( )
2 V
IN
× V
F
+ =
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
0 0.6
2 0.7
4 0.8
6 0.9
8 1
10 1.1
12 1.2
time (ms)
V
(V)
Ì
L1
(A)
(1)
(2)
(3)
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
Similar to DC-to-DC down-converter, energy efficiency of the up-converter also can be
improved if the Schottky diode is replaced by a FET, which switches on for the correct
phase in the switching cycle. Figure 14 shows the topology of synchronous DC-to-DC
up-converter.

Fig 14. Synchronous DC-to-DC down-converter
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
2.3.3 DC-to-DC up- and down-converter
If two topologies of the DC-to-DC down-converter and up-converter are combined as
shown on Figure 15, the output voltage can either be reduced or boosted in relation to the
input voltage. The MOSFET switches need to be controlled in a proper way to allow the
conversion in both directions. Q3 and Q4 can switch similarly to the DC-to-DC
down-converter shown on Figure 10. In addition, Q2 must be switched on constantly to
connect the inductor to the output capacitor. For the up-conversion mode, MOSFETs Q2
and Q1 work as the switching stage, as described for the synchronous up-converter on
Figure 14. The MOSFET Q3 is constantly switched on to connect the inductor to the input
supply voltage in this case.

3. Medium power DC-to-DC down-converter using small-signal MOSFETs
3.1 DC-to-DC down-converter application board
Figure 16 shows an application Printed-Circuit Board (PCB) with NXP Semiconductors
small-signal MOSFETs implemented in a DC-to-DC step-down converter. NXP
Semiconductors offers small-signal MOSFETs in small SMD packages such as SOT457,
SOT23, SOT223 and DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220). Many of these MOSFETs provide very
low R
DSon
together with a good switching performance.
The topology of the application board on Figure 16 is a synchronous down-converter
same as in Section 2.3.1. The circuit contains a controller LTC3851 of Linear Technology
Corporation. Two N-channel MOSFETs build switching stage. The high-side switch
connects the node with the inductor to the input supply. Therefore, it is necessary to have
a control voltage available that is higher than the input voltage itself. This extra voltage for
the control of the gate of the upper MOSFET is generated with a charge pump. The
capacitor C25 is connected to the SW node, the switched output and via Schottky diode to
a stabilized voltage INTVCC (pin 12). INTVCC is provided by an internal 5 V LDO. The
capacitor is charged via the diode when the low-side switch is turned on. In this case, one
side of C25 is connected to ground. If Q2 is turned off and Q1 is switched on, the charged
Fig 15. Up-down converter
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Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
capacitor gets connected to V
IN
. At the pin BOOST (pin 14) a voltage of
V
IN
+ INTVCC ÷ V
F
(forward voltage of the diode) can be measured. This boosted voltage
can drive the high-side switch properly. Low current Schottky diodes are sufficient for the
charge pump (for example, BAT54J, 1PS76SB40 or 1PS76SB21). These diodes are
supplied in the SMD packages like SOD323F and SOD323.
The LTC3851 controller contains a 0.8 V precision reference voltage for the output voltage
regulation. The output of the down-converter is fed back to the pin FB. A resistor divider
formed by R41 + R39 and R38 adjusts the output voltage.The equation for the output
voltage is:
(26)
The controller works with a constant frequency. As described in Section 2.3.1, the output
voltage of DC-to-DC down-converter can be controlled rather easily for higher currents,
but low current conditions are more ambitious for the control. The duty cycle needs to be
changed significantly or the controller can change to a different control mode like burst
operation. For the LTC3851 there are three options: forced continuous operation, burst
mode operation and a pulse-skip mode.
Burst mode operation gives better efficiency, but more ripple and a higher
ElectroMagnetic Interference (EMI) level. The best mode depends on the specification
and requirements of the end application.
The switching frequency can be programmed in a range from 250 kHz to 750 kHz. The
resistor R30 determines the frequency. Alternatively the controller can synchronize the
internal oscillator to an external clock source (MODE/PLLIN, pin 1). In this mode an RC
network needs to be connected to pin 2 (FREQ), which serves as PLL loop filter.
V
OUT
0 8 V , 1 ( R41 R39 + ( ) + × R38 ) =
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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx
A
N
1
1
1
1
9
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o
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r
o
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e
d

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n

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h
i
s

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o
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e
n
t

i
s

s
u
b
j
e
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t

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o

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e
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l

d
i
s
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i
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e
r
s
.
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N
X
P

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.
V
.

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0
1
2
.

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l
l

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i
g
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t
s

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e
s
e
r
v
e
d
.
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p
p
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i
c
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t
i
o
n

n
o
t
e
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e
v
.

2



5

J
u
l
y

2
0
1
2

2
0

o
f

3
3
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X
P

S
e
m
i
c
o
n
d
u
c
t
o
r
s
A
N
1
1
1
1
9
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e
d
i
u
m

p
o
w
e
r

s
m
a
l
l
-
s
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O
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n

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-
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-
D
C

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o
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e
r
s
i
o
n

Fig 16. Circuit diagram for reference application of DC-to-DC down-converter with NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFET PMN15UN and
LTC3851 as controller
PMPB20EN
PMPB20EN
LTC3851EPN
1nF
100n
100pF
10k
82k5
GND
G
N
D
G
N
D
opt
GND
0
opt
100n
GND
330p
2n2
6k8
49k9
22p opt
43k2
0
D N G D N G
1n
na
10
10
0
opt
GND
GND GND
2u2
4u7
GND
10
0
100n
1u0
GND
IHL-5050EZ-01-Coil
na
na
na
3.6 mOhm
PMEG3010ER
GND
BAT46WJ
10µ 10µ
47u
GND GND
GND
GND GND
GND
GND GND
GND
330u 330u
GND
Q1
Q2
MODE
1
FREQ
2
RUN
3
TK/SS
4
ITH
5
FB
6
SENSE-
7
SENSE+
8
SW
16
TG
15
BOOST
14
VIN
13
INTVCC
12
BG
11
GND
10
ILIM
9
IC1
1
MODE
1 2 3 4
JP_MODE
1 2 3
JP2
C22
C20
C21
R31
R30
1 2 3
JP_RUN
1
RUN C23
R32
R35
C24
C28
C26
R40
R38
C29 C32
R39
R41
C30
R43
R10
R9
R42
R28
C27
C31
R37
R36
C25
C19
L1
R29
R27
C18
RSENSE
D1
D2
CIN4 CIN3
COUT3
CIN2 CIN1
COUT2 COUT1
1
VIN
1
GND_IN
1
VOUT
1
GND_OUT
1
TK/SS
INTVCC
INTVCC
RUN
FREQ
TK/SS_2
VOUT
SENSE+
SENSE-
TK/SS
+ +
+ +
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Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 21 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
3.2 NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFETs suitable for DC-to-DC
conversion
DC-to-DC converters can be found in many applications. Topology of step-down converter
controller with an external FET stage are often implemented in computing and consumer
applications. Modern concepts with latest generation SOC (System-on-Chip) solutions
require many separate supply voltages. These can be processors on motherboards, in
notebooks and tablet PCs, on core chips of LCD-TV or a set-top box.
The power requirements range from more than hundred watts down to a few watts. In
desktop PCs, DC-to-DC converter can be found on the motherboard which provide a
current capability of up to 100 A and an output power of up to 130 W. MOSFETs in
switching stages are Loss-Free Package (LFPAK) types and to a growing extent Quad
Flat-pack No-lead (QFN) 5 × 6 packages. For net- and notebooks the power requirements
are smaller. The power consumption ranges from 18 W to 55 W. The switching MOSFETs
are mainly SO-8 and QFN 3 × 3 types. In consumer applications such as LCD-TVs and
set-top boxes as well as in low-power netbooks or tablet PCs, power requirements from
7 W to 15 W can be found.
For medium power range small-signal MOSFETs can replace SO-8 versions nowadays in
smaller packages like QFN 3 × 3, but also in QFN 2 × 2 or SOT457.
3.3 Dimensioning aspects for the inductor and output capacitor
In order to reach a desired current ripple, choose carefully inductance of the inductor used
in the down-converter. With a bigger current ripple, the output voltage shows a larger
ripple. The ripple increases the smaller the inductance becomes and the higher the input
voltage is. Furthermore it increases if the switching frequency is reduced.
AI
L
can be calculated:
(27)
with:
(28)
we get:
(29)
this means:
(30)
For the corner case in which circuit runs at the limit of the continuous mode, current goes
down exactly to zero before it increases again and we get simple relation:
(31)
I
L
A V
IN
L t
on
× V
OUT
L t
off
× = =
T t
on
t
off
1 f = + =
I
L
V (
OUT
L) 1 ( V
OUT
V
IN
– × ) 1 f × = A
L V (
OUT
I A
L
) 1 ( V
OUT
V
IN
) – × 1 f × =
I
L
A 2 I
average
× =
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Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 22 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
Putting equasion 32 into the formula for AI
L
:
(32)
In practice, the ripple current AI
L
is about 30 % of the maximum current, as a rule of
thumb.
The ripple of the output voltage does not depend on the chosen inductance and the ∆I
L

only, but also on the capacitance of the output capacitor. The bigger the capacitor, the
smaller the ripple is. Figure 17 shows the waveform of the current into the capacitor. For a
lossless capacitor, there is basic equation:
(33)

For t0 to t1:
(34)
and for t1 to t2
(35)
the integral formula for the capacitor ripple voltage can be written as:
(36)
Fig 17. Capacitor current I
C
versus time
L V
OUT
1 V
OUT
V
IN
– ( ) × 2 I
average
× f × =
Vc
1
C
--- - Ic t d ×
to
t2
}
× =
t
Ic
t0 t1 t2
ΔIL
ton toff
I
C
I
L
A t
on
t × =
I
C
I A
L
t
off
t × =
V
Cpeak
1
C
--- -
AI
L
t
on
-------- t ·
\ .
| |
t d
0
ton
2
--------
}
1
C
----
AI
L
t
off
-------- t ·
\ .
| |
t d
0
toff
2
---------
}
+ =
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Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 23 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
With:
(37)
the result is:
(38)
For real capacitors take into account an Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR). So we get
an equation:
(39)
3.4 MOSFET losses calculation
For MOSFETs used as switches consider two loss processes. One is the ohmic loss
caused by the residual on-state resistor R
DSon
. The second loss process happens at the
switching transients. Because FETs are not ideal switches that can change from off- to
on-state or reverse without a small turn-over time.
The R
DSon
losses are also called I
2
R-losses and they can be calculated:
(40)
with duty cycle:
(41)
The term 1+δ contains the temperature dependency of R
DSon
of a MOSFET. δ has
typically a value of:
(42)
For the low side switch, there is a similar formula. Because synchronous FET is
conducting while the high-side switch is closed, the I
2
R looses can be calculated with the
equation:
(43)
Regarding the transition losses, only the high-side switch suffers from this mechanism.
The reason is that the implemented free-wheeling diode (D1 on Figure 16) is getting
conductive. It reduces the voltage over the synchronous FET to its small forward voltage
V
F
. If the circuit does not contain a free-wheeling diode, the situation is different: losses of
the body diode need to be added to the R
DSon
losses of the FET. In general, efficiency
suffers from the higher V
F
and reverse recovery time of the body diode if there is no
free-wheeling Schottky diode implemented.
T t
on
t
off
1 f = + =
V
C _ripple
I A
L
C 8 × f × ( ) =
V
C _ripple
I A
L
ESR ( × 1 8 f × C
out
× ( ) ) + =
P
up _side _switch
D I
OUT
( )
2
1 ( × × o) R
DSon
× V
OUT
V
IN
I
OUT
( )
2
× 1 o + ( ) × R
DSon
× = + =
D t
on
T =
o 0 005 , °C ( ) T
j
25°C – ( ) × =
P
low _side _switch
1 ( D) I
OUT
( )
2
1 o + ( ) × × R
DSon
×
1 V
OUT
V
IN
) I (
OUT
)
2
× ( 1 ( o) + × R
DSon
× –
= – =
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 24 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

Figure 18 shows a test circuit for the switching behavior of a MOSFET. The parasitic
capacitors from the gate to the source C
GS
and from the drain to the gate C
DG
are
depicted explicitly. Current source I
G
controlls gate. At the drain another current source is
connected towards V
SS
with a free-wheeling diode in parallel. As long as the FET is
closed, the current flows through this diode.
Figure 19 shows how the switching-on process looks like. If the current source I
G
is
switched on, voltage at C
GS
rises with a linear curve until gate-source threshold voltage
V
GS(th)
is reached. At this time a drain current starts to flow. This means that the FET
remains in the off-state during the time period t0.
During t1 the drain current increases. Also the gate voltage increases until V
GS(pl)
is
reached. V
GS(pl)
is commonly known as plateau voltage of a MOSFET. It is normally not
explicitly mentioned in data sheets, but it can be derived from the diagram gate charge
versus gate-source voltage which can be found in detailed data sheets. After the time
period t0 and t1, the charge is .
In the next time period t2, the drain voltage decreases and gate-source voltage V
GS
stays
constant at V
GS(pl)
. C
DS
gets charged in the reverse direction with the charge Q1 which is:
(44)
C
DS
is similar to the Miller capacitance known from bipolar transistors and has a
significant impact on the switching performance of a MOSFET.
Fig 18. Diagram for switching behavior tests for MOSFET
Q0 V
pl
C
GS
( × C
DS
) + =
Q1 V
SS
C
DS
× =
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Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 25 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
During t3 the gate voltage increases again until the current source is stopped where the
desired maximum gate voltage is reached. The R
DSon
of the FET is reduced further. The
gate driver provides an additional charge Q2, which is:
(45)
The total charge follows the equation:
This charge can easily exceed 100 nC for a power MOSFET. With the equation:
(46)
the gate current can be calculated to achieve a switching time t
s
. Therefore, if small
transition times are desired, in order to keep the switching losses small, apply powerful
drivers to controll MOSFETs.

During the time t1, there is the full input voltage at the FET while drain current I
D

increases. In the next time section t2, I
D
is constant while drain-source voltage V
DS

decreases. The major switching losses occur during these two timw periods in the
switching process. Rather small losses during t3 are neglected. During t3 R
DSon
falls to
the minimum value that is reached when the final V
GS
voltage is reached.
Switching losses during turn-on occur in the time period t1 and t2. The most dominant
time is t2 where the gate voltage of the MOSFET remains at the plateau voltage V
(pl)
. The
losses can be calculated as:
(47)
with the switching frequency of converter:
Turn-off behavior of a MOSFET is similar to the turn-on process. Total switching losses
can be summarized as:
(48)
Fig 19. Turn-on process for MOSFET, V
GS
, V
DS
and I
D
curves
Q2 V (
GS t4 ( )
V
GS pl ( )
) C
GS
( × – C
DS
) + =
Q
G
Q0 Q1 Q2 + + =
I
G
Q
G
t
s
=
t
V
GS
t0
t
t1 t2 t3 t4
V
DS
V
GS
(th)
I
D
Q0 Q1 Q2
V
in
V
GS
(pl)
P
SW on ( )
V
IN
I × 2 t3 t1 + ( ) × 1 T × =
f
SW
1 T =
P
SW
V
IN
1 × T I
min
( 2 × t
on
× I
max
2 t
off
× ) + =
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 26 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
Switching time depends on the current drive capabilities of the driver device and the gate
resistance of the FET. If we assume an identical drive current for turn-on and turn-off
event, switching time equals:
For the LTC3851 t
SW
can be estimated roughly as follows. R
drive
is about 2 O for the
controller. The relevant voltage is driver voltage INTVCC ÷ V
(th)
, so we get:
(49)
4. NXP Semiconductors high-performance small-signal MOSFETs in
small packages
4.1 Low R
DSon
N-channel small-signal MOSFETs
NXP Semiconductors offers several small-signal MOSFETs which are suitable for a
medium power DC-to-DC conversion. PMN15UN reaches R
DSon
of 15 mO for a
gate-source voltage of 4.5 V. This is a very small resistance for a SOT457 device which
outperforms comparable MOSFETs on the market. Due to the copper leadframe, a very
good thermal performance can be achieved for this relatively small package.

For both small board space requirements and good thermal performance, 2 mm x 2 mm
DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220) package is a very good choice. For medium power
requirements, MOSFETs of this type can replace power packages like DFN3030 or
SO8 (SOT96) packages.
t
SW
Q
G
I
drive
=
t
SW
Q
G
R
drive
× V
drive
V
GS th ( )
– ( ) =
Table 1. Comparison of low R
DSon
small-signal MOSFETs in different packages
PMT29EN PMN15UN PMPB20EN
Package SOT223 SOT457 DFN2020MD-6
(SOT1220)
I
D
(max) 6 A 6.3 A 5.8 A
V
DS
30 V 20 V 30 V
V
GS
20 V 8 V 20 V
R
DSon(typ)
(V
GS
= 4.5 V) 29 mO 15 mO 20 mO
Q
G
24 nC 7.8 nC 7.2 nC
t
f
(fall time) 40 ns 6 ns 4.9 ns
P
tot
(t
sp
= 25
o
C) 8.3 W 1.75 W 8.33 W
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 27 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

Thermal photograph on Figure 20 shows reference DC-to-DC converter PCB running with
an output current of 6 A . It performs a voltage down conversion from 10 V to 1.5 V. Due to
the small duty cycle of 0.15, low side-switch has to dissipate a higher amount of energy
than high side switch. The temperature of this device is about 80
o
C. Considering the rule
of thumb that junction temperature T
j
is 5 to 10
o
C warmer than the surface of the
package, T
j
is below 90
o
C in this test.

Table 2. N-channel MOSFETs in DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220)
Type V
DS(max)
V
GS(max)
ESD R
DSon(typ)

(V
GS
= 4.5 V)
PMPB12UN 20 V +/÷ 8 V - 12 mO
PMPB12UN 20 V +/÷ 8 V - 20 mO
PMPB10XNE 20 V +/÷ 12 V 2 kV 10 mO
PMPB15XN 20 V +/÷ 12 V - 15 mO
PMPB23XNE 20 V +/÷ 12 V 2 kV 23 mO
PMPB16XN 30 V +/÷ 12 V - 16 mO
PMPB13XNE 30 V +/÷ 12 V 2 kV 13 mO
PMPB29XNE 30 V +/÷ 12 V 2 kV 29 mO
PMPB33XN 30 V +/÷ 12 V - 33 mO
PMPB11EN 30 V +/÷ 20 V - 12 mO
PMPB20EN 30 V +/÷ 20 V - 20 mO
PMPB40SNA 60 V +/÷ 16 V - 40 mO
V
IN
= 10 V
V
OUT
= 1.5 V
I
OUT
= 6 A
f
SW
= 490 kHz
Fig 20. Thermal photograph of the DC-to-DC converter PCB with PMPB20EN
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 28 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
4.2 Measurements at the reference PCB with PMPB20EN switching stage
Figure 21 shows a scope curve of the falling edge measured for the SW signal, the output
of the FET switching stage. The load current was adjusted to 3.5 A. The output voltage is
3.3 V. Figure 22 depicts measurement result of the rising edge.


Fig 21. Falling edge measured at the output of the FET switching stage
(Figure 16 SWnode)
Fig 22. Rising edge measured at the output of FET switching stage (Figure 16 SW node)
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 29 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

5. Summary
Highly efficient medium power DC-to-DC converters can be designed with NXP
Semiconductors small-signal MOSFETs. This can be a simple converter with a P-channel
FET as high-side switch combined with a Schottky diode. For a Schottky diode NXP
Semiconductors offers a wide selection of components with low forward voltages in
compact flat power packages. For even better efficiency, synchronous DC-to-DC
converters are recommended. Also for this topology NXP Semiconductors can offer
suitable small-signal MOSFETs in various packages.
This document describes the way of working of different DC-to-DC conversion topologies.
A reference design for synchronous DC-to-DC converter was presented with most
important design aspects, such as power dissipation in the switching stage.
6. Appendix
Figure 22 and 23 show the component placement plans of the DC-to-DC converter
reference board. The first figure shows component names whereas the second one
indicates component values. This PCB is a 4 layer board with top layer containing solid
copper areas which are connected to V
IN
, V
OUT
and ground. Layer 2 and the bottom layer
are solid ground layers. Layer 3 contains signal connections.
Table 3. Stability of the output voltage versus load current, FET stage 2 × PMPB20EN in
DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220) package measured at power and sense contacts
Output load current Output Voltage
0 A 3.296 V
0.1 A 3.296 V
0.5 A 3.295 V
1.0 A 3.295 V
2.0 A 3.294 V
3.0 A 3.294 V
4.0 A 3.293 V
6.0 A 3.292 V
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 30 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

Fig 23. Component placement plan of the DC-to-DC converter reference board with
component names
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 31 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

Fig 24. Component placement plan of the DC-to-DC converter reference board with
component values
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 32 of 33
NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
7. Legal information
7.1 Definitions
Draft — The document is a draft version only. The content is still under
internal review and subject to formal approval, which may result in
modifications or additions. NXP Semiconductors does not give any
representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of
information included herein and shall have no liability for the consequences of
use of such information.
7.2 Disclaimers
Limited warranty and liability — Information in this document is believed to
be accurate and reliable. However, NXP Semiconductors does not give any
representations or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or
completeness of such information and shall have no liability for the
consequences of use of such information.
In no event shall NXP Semiconductors be liable for any indirect, incidental,
punitive, special or consequential damages (including - without limitation - lost
profits, lost savings, business interruption, costs related to the removal or
replacement of any products or rework charges) whether or not such
damages are based on tort (including negligence), warranty, breach of
contract or any other legal theory.
Notwithstanding any damages that customer might incur for any reason
whatsoever, NXP Semiconductors’ aggregate and cumulative liability towards
customer for the products described herein shall be limited in accordance
with the Terms and conditions of commercial sale of NXP Semiconductors.
Right to make changes — NXP Semiconductors reserves the right to make
changes to information published in this document, including without
limitation specifications and product descriptions, at any time and without
notice. This document supersedes and replaces all information supplied prior
to the publication hereof.
Suitability for use — NXP Semiconductors products are not designed,
authorized or warranted to be suitable for use in life support, life-critical or
safety-critical systems or equipment, nor in applications where failure or
malfunction of an NXP Semiconductors product can reasonably be expected
to result in personal injury, death or severe property or environmental
damage. NXP Semiconductors accepts no liability for inclusion and/or use of
NXP Semiconductors products in such equipment or applications and
therefore such inclusion and/or use is at the customer’s own risk.
Applications — Applications that are described herein for any of these
products are for illustrative purposes only. NXP Semiconductors makes no
representation or warranty that such applications will be suitable for the
specified use without further testing or modification.
Customers are responsible for the design and operation of their applications
and products using NXP Semiconductors products, and NXP Semiconductors
accepts no liability for any assistance with applications or customer product
design. It is customer’s sole responsibility to determine whether the NXP
Semiconductors product is suitable and fit for the customer’s applications and
products planned, as well as for the planned application and use of
customer’s third party customer(s). Customers should provide appropriate
design and operating safeguards to minimize the risks associated with their
applications and products.
NXP Semiconductors does not accept any liability related to any default,
damage, costs or problem which is based on any weakness or default in the
customer’s applications or products, or the application or use by customer’s
third party customer(s). Customer is responsible for doing all necessary
testing for the customer’s applications and products using NXP
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Notice: All referenced brands, product names, service names and trademarks
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NXP Semiconductors AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion
© NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.
For more information, please visit: http://www.nxp.com
For sales office addresses, please send an email to: salesaddresses@nxp.com
Date of release: 5 July 2012
Document identifier: AN11119
Please be aware that important notices concerning this document and the product(s)
described herein, have been included in section ‘Legal information’.
8. Contents
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2 DC-to-DC conversion methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.1 Linear voltage regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.2 Voltage conversion with a charge pump. . . . . . 7
2.3 Topologies of voltage converters with
inductances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.1 DC-to-DC down-converter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.3.2 DC-to-DC up-converter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.3.3 DC-to-DC up- and down-converter . . . . . . . . . 18
3 Medium power DC-to-DC down-converter using
small-signal MOSFETs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.1 DC-to-DC down-converter application board . 18
3.2 NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFETs
suitable for DC-to-DC conversion. . . . . . . . . . 21
3.3 Dimensioning aspects for the inductor and output
capacitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.4 MOSFET losses calculation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4 NXP Semiconductors high-performance
small-signal MOSFETs in small packages. . . 26
4.1 Low R
DSon
N-channel small-signal MOSFETs 26
4.2 Measurements at the reference PCB with
PMPB20EN switching stage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
5 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
6 Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
7 Legal information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
7.1 Definitions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
7.2 Disclaimers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
7.3 Trademarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
8 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

NXP Semiconductors

AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

Revision history Rev 2 1 Date 20120705 20120504 Description Figure 24: changed Initial revision

Contact information
For more information, please visit: http://www.nxp.com For sales office addresses, please send an email to: salesaddresses@nxp.com
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.

Application note

Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012

2 of 33

NXP Semiconductors

AN11119
Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion

1. Introduction
In modern electronic designs various supply voltages need to be generated. In most cases power supply provides one or a few different DC voltages. These voltages need to be converted to another voltage for several functional units in the application. Voltage conversion can work in both directions: it can be step up or step down. This application note presents different methods of DC-to-DC conversion. Using linear voltage regulators for voltage conversion was common, even if a voltage had to be reduced significantly or if the load currents were high. Because linear voltage regulator works as a controlled series resistor, a lot of energy is dissipated thermally. Due to the environmental requirement to improve energy efficiency of electronic equipment, Switch mode power supplies are replacing linear voltage regulators. In Switch mode power supplies, energy is stored in the magnetic field of inductors or as a charge in capacitors. Ohmic loss of energy has to be avoided as much as possible. Newly developed electronic components for implementation of switches, such as modern MOSFETs, support design of highly efficient power supplies. Small-signal MOSFETs with low drain-source on-state resistance RDSon values and good switching performance open a new application area for medium power Switch mode DC-to-DC conversion. Although fully integrated solutions are available, applications with external switching stages are widely used due to flexibility and cost reasons.

2. DC-to-DC conversion methods
2.1 Linear voltage regulation
Although Switch mode power supplies are replacing linear voltage regulators, there are many application areas where this approach is still used. Linear voltage regulators are found where the output voltage needs to be free from switching ripple and overlaid distortion. Supply for analog-to-digital converters (ADC) and digital-to-analog converters (DAC) and analog circuit parts with high signal-to-noise requirements are good examples. Often such stabilizers are put behind Switch mode voltage converter to achieve a very clean output voltage for the circuit block behind. Figure 1 presents simple circuit diagram for voltage stabilizer. The output voltage is: V OUT = V Z – V BE where VZ is Zener voltage and VBE is base-emitter voltage of transistor T1. The transistor has total power dissipation: P tot =  V IN – V OUT   I load + V BE  I B (1)

(2)

The first part of the addition contains dominating part of the losses. It increases with voltage difference from the input to the output and the load current. In this circuit example, an NXP Semiconductors low collector-emitter saturation voltage VCEsat transistor is applied. It offers high and constant gain amplification. This means low dependency on DC current gain hFE versus collector current and the advantage of low VCEsat.
AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.V. 2012. All rights reserved.

Application note

Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012

3 of 33

more sophisticated circuits need to be used. If requirements for quality of the line and load regulation are high. © NXP B. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. All rights reserved.V. Along with minimum dropout voltage. I q =  V IN – V Z   R1 A circuit example: (3) Fig 1.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion This design is beneficial because it keeps voltage drop across the regulator as small as possible. 2 — 5 July 2012 4 of 33 . This parameter defines the current that flows into the circuit when no load is present. Linear voltage regulators that need low voltage on top of the output voltage for proper stabilization are called low dropout regulators (LDO). the quiescent current Iq is an important parameter with respect to the energy efficiency. Application note Rev. Simple linear voltage regulator with Zener diode and BISS transistor in the load path. These contain voltage reference with high temperature stability and more precise feedback control with an error amplifier. 2012.

Maximum dropout voltage of NX1117 is 1. © NXP B.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Fig 2. LDOs specifications contain additional key parameters. An example of such a device is NX1117. Line regulation parameter shows output voltage change in response to input voltage change. Maximum nominal output current is 1 A. Therefore this parameter is measured for 120 Hz sine wave overlaid onto input voltage.2 V for 800 mA load current. For additional features such as protection against thermal damage and current limitation. Output regulation states stability of the output voltage for different load currents. 2 — 5 July 2012 5 of 33 .V. Application note Rev. typical choice is an integrated regulator. Linear voltage regulator with a TL431BFDT as an error amplifier Figure 2 shows an example using TL431BFDT shunt regulator as an error amplifier with an external series load regulation transistor. An additional parameter is stability of the output voltage versus temperature and spread of nominal output voltage for an LDO at a nominal operating point. 2012. for example 0 mA versus 800 mA. Ripple rejection indicates reduction of a ripple after rectification achieved with Graetz bridge and a capacitor added at the output. All rights reserved. Dropout voltage is the difference between VIN and VOUT. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. This is a scenario adapted to 60 Hz line supply system.

NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Figure 3 shows a simple example with adjustable version of NX1117. VOUT can be calculated as: R2 V OUT = V ref  1 + ------ + I adj  R1  R1 (4) Adjust current Iadj is typically 50 A for NX1117 and therefore the second term can be neglected. the reference pin is connected to the ground and divider with R1 and R2 is integrated.V. In addition to adjustable type many regulator types with fixed output voltages are available. Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 6 of 33 .25 V for the adjustable NX1117. Adjustable linear voltage regulator NX1117CADJZ AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. All rights reserved. In this case. © NXP B. Reference voltage Vref is 1. The dissipated power of fixed regulator is: P tot =  V IN – V OUT   I OUT + V IN  I GND (5) VIN NX1117CADJZ R1 VOUT R2 Fig 3. 2012.

An example of such application is generation of negative voltage for operational amplifier or comparator or boosted voltage for high-side switch of a buck converter. VOUT2 becomes inverted VIN after a few cycles. 2 — 5 July 2012 7 of 33 . Figure 4 shows an example of such circuit on condition of ideal diodes without forward voltage loss. If the generator outputs a high signal. When the generator output switches to the ground. the negative pole of the charged capacitor is shifted up to VIN.V.2 Voltage conversion with a charge pump In some applications. Charge pump diagram with inverted and doubled output voltage When the output of the generator is at low level. 2012. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. The principle is that a capacitor is charged and then shifted up or down to obtain a higher voltage or to get an inverted voltage. The latter topology is discussed in more detail further in this document. © NXP B. Fig 4. Application note Rev. Usage of charge pumps is a common method of DC-to-DC conversion without disadvantage of generating large losses. It delivers a signal with low level of 0 V and high level of VIN. All rights reserved. A generator is providing a square wave signal. C2 is charged. Due to the charged capacitor. Sometimes only a low current is needed. C1 is charged to VIN via D3 through the upper signal path. When the output changes to the high state. Capacitor C3 is charged to double VIN in the ideal case after a few switching cycles. a simple voltage inversion or a doubling of voltage is required. Charge pumps use capacitors for energy storage. Also C3 gets charged to VIN via D3 and D1. the positive pole of the capacitor is connected to the ground. The diode D4 becomes conductive and C4 is charged to negative voltage.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion 2. the node where C2 is connected to the cathode of D4 and the anode of D2 has a voltage level of VIN.

NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion In practice. 9 9. This means that output voltage of the discussed voltage doubling is decreased by twice VF compared to lossless and ideal condition. forward voltage of diodes reduces output voltage.

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forward voltage losses of diodes become a significant problem.  (1) VOUT (2) VIN Fig 5. can replace diodes. BAT54 Schottky diodes Figure 5 shows simulation result for the start-up of voltage doubling with charge pump and BAT54 Schottky diodes. Voltage doubling with a charge pump. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. The load is 1 k. © NXP B. Application note Rev. All rights reserved. 2 — 5 July 2012 8 of 33 . 2012.V. The input voltage VIN is 5 V. The trace shows that theoretical output voltage of 10 V is not reached. In order to improve it. switches. which are usually implemented with MOSFETs. If such a circuit has low supply voltage. capacitor C1 is 22 F and C3 is 10 F.

VOUT is constant. 2.3. These mechanisms and facts reduce the energy efficiency of DC-to-DC converters from 75 % to 98 % in real life conditions.and up-down converters can be implemented. Eddy currents cause further loss in the magnetic core of an inductor. Inductor has an ohmic resistance from the wire of the windings and magnetic core adds losses too.V. Application note Rev.1 DC-to-DC down-converter Figure 6 shows the circuit diagram of a simple DC-to-DC down-converter. the current in the inductor L1 increases with a linear curve I L =  t on  L1    V IN  V OUT  . In practice. the diode introduces forward voltage losses and reverse current losses. With a small topology modification down-. instead it concentrates closer to the surface. When the FET is switched on. 2012. the current in the wire no longer uses the whole cross-section. Also the output capacitor has a residual resistance that leads to energy losses and a temperature increase. this circuit would have 100 % efficiency in case of ideal components application. All rights reserved. which introduces switching losses. Changing magnetic fields can induce circulating loops of current which heat up the ferromagnetic material. Finally. Fig 6. In contrast to a linear regulator. Other components add losses too.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion 2. the best solution is topology with inductors. The bigger the hysteresis of the core material.3 Topologies of voltage converters with inductances Application areas of charge pumps described in previous chapter are usually limited to low current applications. Magnetic core losses result from the change of the magnetic field which causes motion of small magnetic domains. © NXP B. This is a well-known skin effect which leads to higher ohmic losses. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. For high frequency switching. the bigger are these losses. there are losses in switching transistor because the on-resistance is not equal to 0 and also because transistor needs switching time. Simple DC-to-DC down-converter The P-channel FET Q1 works as high-side switch. up. 2 — 5 July 2012 9 of 33 . For higher output power and highly energy-efficient voltage converters.

The current IL1 which flows through the inductor shows a linear increase while Q1 is switched on. Below is a calculation of output voltage. the current flows through the inductance for the whole period of the switching cycle. the switching frequency is 100 kHz. 2012. When Q1 is switched off. The voltage at an inductor is: V L = L   dIL  dt  or V L = L   I L   t  (7) (6) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.3 V high level (V2).V.25 V. The voltage at SW node VSW nearly equals to the input voltage. In this example. The inductance of the inductor is chosen to 68 H. To control NX2301P. which is switched from a square wave generator with 3. In the abovementioned example.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion When the switch is opened. the current through the inductor decreases. The signal SW changes to a negative voltage of about 300 mV. Figure 8 shows simulation result. which is the forward voltage of the Schottky diode. Fig 7. 2 — 5 July 2012 10 of 33 . the smaller the ripple will be. The output current is the average of the triangle shaped waveform and is about 330 mA. the current continuously flows via the path of the diode D1. It works at the voltage supply V1. C2 buffers the output voltage. the output voltage is filtered with 10 F capacitor. Application note Rev. The bigger it is. A load resistor of 10 is connected to the output. SPICE simulation diagram for a simple DC-to-DC down-converter using NX2301P as high-side switch and PMEG2010AEH as low-side Schottky diode. The output voltage VOUT is stable at roughly 3. The cathode of D1 is negative with the forward voltage VF against ground. PMEG2010AEH Schottky diode is selected as a free-wheeling diode. a N-channel driver FET is implemented. This mode is called continuous mode of a DC-to-DC converter. All rights reserved. The high-side switch is implemented with NX2301P P-channel FET. Figure 7 depicts a SPICE simulation. © NXP B. The current decreases linearly.

2 — 5 July 2012 11 of 33 .2 s = 133 mA (16) (15) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.2  10  = 3 . Neglecting RDSon losses in the switch and the forward voltage of the diode.V. the switch is always closed and the output voltage equals the input voltage. the energy increase in the inductor must be identical to the energy loss while switch is open. we get the formula for ∆IL: I L =  V IN – V OUT   t on = V OUT  t off V OUT  V IN = t on   t on + t off  = t on  T where T is cycle time and the duty cycle D is: D = t on  T V OUT = V IN  D In our example: V OUT = 4 . All rights reserved. Application note Rev. If the duty cycle is smaller than 1. The ripple of the current is: I L =  V IN – V OUT   L  t on In our example: I L =  4 .5 V – 3 .24 V   68 H  7 .5 V   7 . © NXP B.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion so I L = V L  L  t The stored energy in an inductor is: E= L  2  I 2 (8) (9) For the Stationary mode while switch is closed. the output voltage is reduced by factor D. 2012.24 V (14) (12) (13) (10) (11) If the duty cycle is 1 as a corner case.

NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion 9 9.

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A relevant equation is below: I L = 2  I L  average  = 2  I load If curve 3 on Figure 8 moves down by decreasing the output current until the x-axis is touched. (17) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. Curves of the current through L1. There is a current limit where the continuous mode is left. From this point onward the duty cycle has to be reduced in order to keep the same output voltage. All rights reserved. the output voltage stays constant (ideal components) . © NXP B. Application note Rev.V. 2012. the limit of the continuous mode is reached. This means that duty cycle for the switch does not need to be changed to a significant extent from a DC-to-DC controller IC as long as the converter runs in the continuous mode.   (1) VSW (2) VOUT (3) IL1 Fig 8. 2 — 5 July 2012 12 of 33 . SW node voltage and output voltage If the load current is increased in the continuous mode.

NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion If non-continuous mode is reached.68 H for this experiment. the voltage curve of SW node of the circuit changes significantly. This leads to a higher current ripple. If the current through the inductance reaches 0 A. The diode blocks the output capacitor. the voltage at the diode changes from forward direction to reverse. and a non-continuous mode. SW node shows an oscillation supported by the resonance circuit of L1 and COUT. Circuit on Figure 7 was modified by reducing the inductance of L1 to 0. Figure 9 shows this typical behavior. which is charged to VOUT from being discharged via L1 (Q1 is still closed). 9 9. After the current through L1 went down to zero. Normally there is roughly a square wave between VIN and VF.

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The low-side switch needs to be turned on when the upper FET is switched off. Because every MOSFET contains a body-diode from the source to the drain. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. high losses and risk to damage the FETs. Converter in a non-continuous condition. Application note Rev. the body-diode of Q2 would work like a Schottky diode in the simple topology on Figure 6.   (1) VSW (2) VOUT (3) IL1 Fig 9. All rights reserved. The Schottky diode generates forward voltage losses for the time period when high-side switch is opened. A MOSFET can replace a diode. If Q2 switches on after Q1 is closed. current curve of IL reaches the x-axis at 0 A. The controller has to take care that there is never an overlap of the on-states of both transistors in this case the switching stage would create a short circuit with a significant current peak. curve of SW node jumps from VF to an oscillation around VOUT Figure 10 shows a change in the down-converter topology to improve efficiency of the simple circuit.V. In this case. the body diode conducts the current from L1. 2012. the circuit would in principle work even if Q2 is never switched on. © NXP B. 2 — 5 July 2012 13 of 33 . Therefore the turn-on time of Q2 is not very critical.

inductor-based DC-to-DC down conversion was discussed. With a small change in the topology. Synchronous DC-to-DC down-converter (FETs including body-diodes) 2.V. the current IL continues to flow through D1 into the output. All rights reserved. the current in the inductance increases: I L = V IN  t on (18) The diode D1 is driven in reverse mode because the anode is connected to the ground and the cathode is connected to the positive voltage VOUT at C2. 2012. If the converter runs in a stationary mode. If the switch is closed. the down-converter can be changed into an up-converter. Application note Rev.2 DC-to-DC up-converter In the previous chapter. © NXP B. Figure 11 shows the topology of a simple DC-to-DC up-converter. we can calculate: I L = V IN  L  t on =  V OUT – V IN   L  t off V IN  t on =  V OUT – V IN   t off V OUT = V IN   t on  t off + 1  where the duty cycle is: D = t on  T T = t on + t off V OUT = V IN   t on + t off   t off = V IN  T   T – t on  = V IN  1   1 – t on  T  = V IN  1   1 – D  (22) (23) (19) (20) (21) (24) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Fig 10.3. If the low-side switch FET Q1 is closed. 2 — 5 July 2012 14 of 33 .

5. The converter is switched with 100 kHz signal control signal with a duty cycle of 0.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion The corner cases of the equation show that for D  0.V. Fig 12. Simple DC-to-DC up-converter Figure 12 shows SPICE simulation. VOUT  VIN. © NXP B. This is critical for safe operation because high duty cycle can result in very high voltages at the FETs drain. It makes sense to consider lossless components. The low-side switch is implemented with PMV20XN N-channel MOSFET in SOT23 package and PMEG2010AEH Schottky diode. Lossless means a diode with no forward voltage and an inductance without an ohmic resistance of the windings and the additional loss mechanisms discussed in the previous chapter. the output voltage increases rapidly. Fig 11. 2 — 5 July 2012 15 of 33 . All rights reserved. 2012. which means that the transistor is never switched on. Application note Rev. If D gets close to 1. SPICE simulation diagram for a simple DC-to-DC up-converter with PMV20XN N-channel FET and PMEG2010AEH Schottky diode AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.

5. the forward voltage of the diode reduces the output voltage.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Figure 13 shows simulation results. Curve 2 represents output voltage. (25) 9 9.5. V D  max  = 2  V IN + V F . For ideal components. In practice. the output voltage would be twice as high as the input due to the duty cycle of 0. It switches between ground level and VD(max) and equals: V D  max  = V IN  1   1 – D  + V F In the simulated case with the duty cycle D  0. Curve 1 shows drain voltage VD of the N-channel FET.

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Simulation results. simple up-converter AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B.   (1) VD (2) VOUT (3) IL1 Fig 13. All rights reserved.V. Application note Rev. 2012. 2 — 5 July 2012 16 of 33 .

Synchronous DC-to-DC down-converter AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. which switches on for the correct phase in the switching cycle. Application note Rev.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Similar to DC-to-DC down-converter. © NXP B. Fig 14. 2012. Figure 14 shows the topology of synchronous DC-to-DC up-converter.V. 2 — 5 July 2012 17 of 33 . energy efficiency of the up-converter also can be improved if the Schottky diode is replaced by a FET. All rights reserved.

NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion 2. In this case. If Q2 is turned off and Q1 is switched on. The capacitor is charged via the diode when the low-side switch is turned on. Therefore. it is necessary to have a control voltage available that is higher than the input voltage itself. Q3 and Q4 can switch similarly to the DC-to-DC down-converter shown on Figure 10. The high-side switch connects the node with the inductor to the input supply.3 DC-to-DC up. For the up-conversion mode. This extra voltage for the control of the gate of the upper MOSFET is generated with a charge pump. The circuit contains a controller LTC3851 of Linear Technology Corporation. the output voltage can either be reduced or boosted in relation to the input voltage. 2012. INTVCC is provided by an internal 5 V LDO. The MOSFET Q3 is constantly switched on to connect the inductor to the input supply voltage in this case. as described for the synchronous up-converter on Figure 14. All rights reserved. Medium power DC-to-DC down-converter using small-signal MOSFETs 3. In addition.1. Application note Rev. the switched output and via Schottky diode to a stabilized voltage INTVCC (pin 12). The MOSFET switches need to be controlled in a proper way to allow the conversion in both directions.3. The capacitor C25 is connected to the SW node. MOSFETs Q2 and Q1 work as the switching stage. Q2 must be switched on constantly to connect the inductor to the output capacitor. one side of C25 is connected to ground. The topology of the application board on Figure 16 is a synchronous down-converter same as in Section 2. the charged AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. SOT223 and DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220).and down-converter If two topologies of the DC-to-DC down-converter and up-converter are combined as shown on Figure 15.V.1 DC-to-DC down-converter application board Figure 16 shows an application Printed-Circuit Board (PCB) with NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFETs implemented in a DC-to-DC step-down converter. Many of these MOSFETs provide very low RDSon together with a good switching performance. NXP Semiconductors offers small-signal MOSFETs in small SMD packages such as SOT457.3. Up-down converter 3. SOT23. Two N-channel MOSFETs build switching stage. © NXP B. 2 — 5 July 2012 18 of 33 . Fig 15.

The duty cycle needs to be changed significantly or the controller can change to a different control mode like burst operation. All rights reserved. BAT54J. 2 — 5 July 2012 19 of 33 . the output voltage of DC-to-DC down-converter can be controlled rather easily for higher currents. A resistor divider formed by R41 + R39 and R38 adjusts the output voltage. 1PS76SB40 or 1PS76SB21).NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion capacitor gets connected to VIN. Burst mode operation gives better efficiency.8 V precision reference voltage for the output voltage regulation. The output of the down-converter is fed back to the pin FB. pin 1). but more ripple and a higher ElectroMagnetic Interference (EMI) level. This boosted voltage can drive the high-side switch properly. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. The resistor R30 determines the frequency. Application note Rev. For the LTC3851 there are three options: forced continuous operation. burst mode operation and a pulse-skip mode. Low current Schottky diodes are sufficient for the charge pump (for example. which serves as PLL loop filter. The switching frequency can be programmed in a range from 250 kHz to 750 kHz. but low current conditions are more ambitious for the control. In this mode an RC network needs to be connected to pin 2 (FREQ).1. At the pin BOOST (pin 14) a voltage of VIN  INTVCC  VF (forward voltage of the diode) can be measured. These diodes are supplied in the SMD packages like SOD323F and SOD323. 2012. The best mode depends on the specification and requirements of the end application. Alternatively the controller can synchronize the internal oscillator to an external clock source (MODE/PLLIN.The equation for the output voltage is: V OUT = 0 . The LTC3851 controller contains a 0.3.V. © NXP B. As described in Section 2.8 V   1 +  R41 + R39   R38  (26) The controller works with a constant frequency.

Circuit diagram for reference application of DC-to-DC down-converter with NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFET PMN15UN and LTC3851 as controller AN11119 .V.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx x x x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx x x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 20 of 33 AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. NXP Semiconductors 1 MODE C20 JP2 1 2 3 R31 100n R30 82k5 GND JP_RUN 1 2 3 C22 C21 100pF JP_MODE 1 2 3 4 GND VIN GND 1 10k 1nF C19 1u0 LTC3851EPN 1 2 3 4 5 6 MODE FREQ RUN TK/SS ITH FB SENSESENSE+ SW TG BOOST VIN INTVCC BG GND ILIM 16 15 14 13 12 11 CIN4 10µ C25 100n Q1 GND CIN3 10µ CIN2 CIN1 + GND + GND_IN GND GND GND 1 INTVCC FREQ PMPB20EN IHL-5050EZ-01-Coil L1 GND RSENSE 3. 2012. All rights reserved. © NXP B.6 mOhm Q2 PMPB20EN D1 PMEG3010ER GND GND R29 na C18 GND na R27 na COUT3 47u GND COUT2 330u GND COUT1 330u GND GND_OUT 1 + + 1 GND C23 opt RUN TK/SS_2 R36 0 R37 10 BAT46WJ D2 INTVCC C27 VOUT 1 RUN GND C30 1 7 10 9 TK/SS R32 0 1n C24 100n R35 opt 8 2u2 C31 4u7 TK/SS IC1 GND R42 0 R28 opt GND Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion GND SENSE+ C26 2n2 C28 330p R40 6k8 VOUT R41 0 R38 49k9 C29 22p C32 opt R39 43k2 SENSER43 na R10 10 R9 10 GND GND GND Fig 16.

NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion 3. in notebooks and tablet PCs. The switching MOSFETs are mainly SO-8 and QFN 3 × 3 types.V. Topology of step-down converter controller with an external FET stage are often implemented in computing and consumer applications. 3.and notebooks the power requirements are smaller. All rights reserved. These can be processors on motherboards. 2012. 2 — 5 July 2012 21 of 33 . © NXP B. The ripple increases the smaller the inductance becomes and the higher the input voltage is. power requirements from 7 W to 15 W can be found. DC-to-DC converter can be found on the motherboard which provide a current capability of up to 100 A and an output power of up to 130 W. The power requirements range from more than hundred watts down to a few watts. IL can be calculated: I L = V IN  L  t on = V OUT  L  t off with: T = t on + t off = 1  f we get: I L =  V OUT  L    1 – V OUT  V IN   1  f this means: L =  V OUT  I L    1 – V OUT  V IN   1  f (30) (29) (28) (27) For the corner case in which circuit runs at the limit of the continuous mode. the output voltage shows a larger ripple. The power consumption ranges from 18 W to 55 W.2 NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFETs suitable for DC-to-DC conversion DC-to-DC converters can be found in many applications.3 Dimensioning aspects for the inductor and output capacitor In order to reach a desired current ripple. In consumer applications such as LCD-TVs and set-top boxes as well as in low-power netbooks or tablet PCs. For net. For medium power range small-signal MOSFETs can replace SO-8 versions nowadays in smaller packages like QFN 3 × 3. Furthermore it increases if the switching frequency is reduced. on core chips of LCD-TV or a set-top box. In desktop PCs. but also in QFN 2 × 2 or SOT457. Modern concepts with latest generation SOC (System-on-Chip) solutions require many separate supply voltages. Application note Rev. choose carefully inductance of the inductor used in the down-converter. With a bigger current ripple. MOSFETs in switching stages are Loss-Free Package (LFPAK) types and to a growing extent Quad Flat-pack No-lead (QFN) 5 × 6 packages. current goes down exactly to zero before it increases again and we get simple relation: I L = 2  I average (31) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.

2012. Application note Rev. Capacitor current IC versus time t1 ΔIL t2 toff For t0 to t1: I C = I L  t on  t and for t1 to t2 I C = I L  t off  t the integral formula for the capacitor ripple voltage can be written as: ton ------2 toff -------2 (34) (35) 1 V Cpeak = --C   -------. The ripple of the output voltage does not depend on the chosen inductance and the ∆IL only. For a lossless capacitor. t dt + ---. Figure 17 shows the waveform of the current into the capacitor. but also on the capacitance of the output capacitor. t dt  t on  C  t off  1 0 0 I L I L (36) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. The bigger the capacitor. © NXP B. the ripple current IL is about 30 % of the maximum current.  Ic  dt C to (33) Ic t t0 ton Fig 17. as a rule of thumb.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Putting equasion 32 into the formula for IL: L = V OUT   1 – V OUT  V IN   2  I average  f In practice. 2 — 5 July 2012 22 of 33 .  -------. the smaller the ripple is. there is basic equation: t2 (32) 1 Vc = --. All rights reserved.V.

Because synchronous FET is conducting while the high-side switch is closed. If the circuit does not contain a free-wheeling diode. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. 2012. The reason is that the implemented free-wheeling diode (D1 on Figure 16) is getting conductive. In general.V. only the high-side switch suffers from this mechanism. Application note Rev.to on-state or reverse without a small turn-over time. the situation is different: losses of the body diode need to be added to the RDSon losses of the FET. the I2R looses can be calculated with the equation: P low _side _switch =  1 – D    I OUT    1 +    R DSon = 1 –  V OUT  V IN    I OUT    1 +    R DSon 2 2 (43) Regarding the transition losses. 2 — 5 July 2012 23 of 33 . One is the ohmic loss caused by the residual on-state resistor RDSon. there is a similar formula. The second loss process happens at the switching transients. So we get an equation: V C _ripple = I L   ESR + 1   8  f  C out   (39) 3. efficiency suffers from the higher VF and reverse recovery time of the body diode if there is no free-wheeling Schottky diode implemented.4 MOSFET losses calculation For MOSFETs used as switches consider two loss processes. It reduces the voltage over the synchronous FET to its small forward voltage VF. The RDSon losses are also called I2R-losses and they can be calculated: P up _side _switch = D   I OUT    1 +    R DSon = V OUT  V IN   I OUT    1 +    R DSon (40) with duty cycle: D = t on  T The term 1+δ contains the temperature dependency of RDSon of a MOSFET.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion With: T = t on + t off = 1  f the result is: V C _ripple = I L   C  8  f  (38) (37) For real capacitors take into account an Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR). All rights reserved. Because FETs are not ideal switches that can change from off. δ has typically a value of:  =  0 005  C    T j – 25C  (42) (41) 2 2 For the low side switch. © NXP B.

V. During t1 the drain current increases. Figure 19 shows how the switching-on process looks like. VGS(pl) is commonly known as plateau voltage of a MOSFET. Also the gate voltage increases until VGS(pl) is reached. Current source IG controlls gate. All rights reserved. After the time period t0 and t1. CDS gets charged in the reverse direction with the charge Q1 which is: Q1 = V SS  C DS CDS is similar to the Miller capacitance known from bipolar transistors and has a significant impact on the switching performance of a MOSFET. If the current source IG is switched on.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Fig 18. It is normally not explicitly mentioned in data sheets. Diagram for switching behavior tests for MOSFET Figure 18 shows a test circuit for the switching behavior of a MOSFET. At the drain another current source is connected towards VSS with a free-wheeling diode in parallel. voltage at CGS rises with a linear curve until gate-source threshold voltage VGS(th) is reached. but it can be derived from the diagram gate charge versus gate-source voltage which can be found in detailed data sheets. 2012. The parasitic capacitors from the gate to the source CGS and from the drain to the gate CDG are depicted explicitly. © NXP B. 2 — 5 July 2012 24 of 33 . This means that the FET remains in the off-state during the time period t0. the current flows through this diode. At this time a drain current starts to flow. the charge is Q0 = V pl   C GS + C DS  . (44) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. In the next time period t2. Application note Rev. the drain voltage decreases and gate-source voltage VGS stays constant at VGS(pl). As long as the FET is closed.

Therefore. in order to keep the switching losses small. During t3 RDSon falls to the minimum value that is reached when the final VGS voltage is reached. The most dominant time is t2 where the gate voltage of the MOSFET remains at the plateau voltage V(pl). Turn-on process for MOSFET. Application note Rev. The gate driver provides an additional charge Q2. With the equation: IG = QG  ts (46) (45) the gate current can be calculated to achieve a switching time ts. VGS. Rather small losses during t3 are neglected. In the next time section t2. The losses can be calculated as: P SW  on  = V IN  I  2   t3 + t1   1  T with the switching frequency of converter: f SW = 1  T Turn-off behavior of a MOSFET is similar to the turn-on process. if small transition times are desired. there is the full input voltage at the FET while drain current ID increases. © NXP B. which is: Q2 =  V GS  t4  – V GS  pl     C GS + C DS  The total charge follows the equation: Q G = Q0 + Q1 + Q2 This charge can easily exceed 100 nC for a power MOSFET. The major switching losses occur during these two timw periods in the switching process. apply powerful drivers to controll MOSFETs. The RDSon of the FET is reduced further. ID is constant while drain-source voltage VDS decreases. Total switching losses can be summarized as: P SW = V IN  1  T   I min  2  t on + I max  2  t off  (48) (47) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. All rights reserved. VDS and ID curves During the time t1. 2012.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion During t3 the gate voltage increases again until the current source is stopped where the desired maximum gate voltage is reached. 2 — 5 July 2012 25 of 33 . VGS VGS(pl) VGS(th) Q0 Q1 Q2 t VDS Vin ID t0 t1 t2 t3 t4 t Fig 19. Switching losses during turn-on occur in the time period t1 and t2.V.

This is a very small resistance for a SOT457 device which outperforms comparable MOSFETs on the market.75 W PMPB20EN DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220) 5. Application note Rev. Package ID(max) VDS VGS QG tf (fall time) Ptot (tsp 25 oC) Comparison of low RDSon small-signal MOSFETs in different packages PMT29EN SOT223 6A 30 V 20 V 24 nC 40 ns 8. PMN15UN reaches RDSon of 15 m for a gate-source voltage of 4.33 W RDSon(typ) (VGS  4. 2012.9 ns 8. MOSFETs of this type can replace power packages like DFN3030 or SO8 (SOT96) packages.8 nC 6 ns 1.8 A 30 V 20 V 20 m 7. so we get: t SW = Q G  R drive   V drive – V GS  th   (49) 4.5 V) 29 m For both small board space requirements and good thermal performance. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.V. The relevant voltage is driver voltage INTVCC V(th). 2 — 5 July 2012 26 of 33 . a very good thermal performance can be achieved for this relatively small package. 2 mm x 2 mm DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220) package is a very good choice.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Switching time depends on the current drive capabilities of the driver device and the gate resistance of the FET. Rdrive is about 2 for the controller. All rights reserved.5 V.1 Low RDSon N-channel small-signal MOSFETs NXP Semiconductors offers several small-signal MOSFETs which are suitable for a medium power DC-to-DC conversion. © NXP B. If we assume an identical drive current for turn-on and turn-off event. Table 1.3 A 20 V 8V 15 m 7. Due to the copper leadframe. switching time equals: t SW = Q G  I drive For the LTC3851 tSW can be estimated roughly as follows.3 W PMN15UN SOT457 6. For medium power requirements. NXP Semiconductors high-performance small-signal MOSFETs in small packages 4.2 nC 4.

5 V IOUT  6 A fSW 490 kHz Fig 20. Tj is below 90 oC in this test.5 V. Due to the small duty cycle of 0. Thermal photograph of the DC-to-DC converter PCB with PMPB20EN AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. © NXP B. It performs a voltage down conversion from 10 V to 1. 2 — 5 July 2012 27 of 33 . VIN 10 V VOUT  1. low side-switch has to dissipate a higher amount of energy than high side switch. All rights reserved. Type PMPB12UN PMPB12UN PMPB10XNE PMPB15XN PMPB23XNE PMPB16XN PMPB13XNE PMPB29XNE PMPB33XN PMPB11EN PMPB20EN PMPB40SNA Thermal photograph on Figure 20 shows reference DC-to-DC converter PCB running with an output current of 6 A . 2012. Considering the rule of thumb that junction temperature Tj is 5 to 10 oC warmer than the surface of the package. The temperature of this device is about 80 oC. Application note Rev.V.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion N-channel MOSFETs in DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220) VDS(max) 20 V 20 V 20 V 20 V 20 V 30 V 30 V 30 V 30 V 30 V 30 V 60 V VGS(max)  8 V  8 V  12 V  12 V  12 V  12 V  12 V  12 V  12 V  20 V  20 V  16 V ESD 2 kV 2 kV 2 kV 2 kV RDSon(typ) (VGS  4.5 V) 12 m 20 m 10 m 15 m 23 m 16 m 13 m 29 m 33 m 12 m 20 m 40 m Table 2.15.

2 — 5 July 2012 28 of 33 . Application note Rev.2 Measurements at the reference PCB with PMPB20EN switching stage Figure 21 shows a scope curve of the falling edge measured for the SW signal.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion 4. © NXP B.3 V. All rights reserved. Figure 22 depicts measurement result of the rising edge. Fig 21. Rising edge measured at the output of FET switching stage (Figure 16 SW node) AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. The load current was adjusted to 3.V.5 A. Falling edge measured at the output of the FET switching stage (Figure 16 SW node) Fig 22. the output of the FET switching stage. 2012. The output voltage is 3.

This can be a simple converter with a P-channel FET as high-side switch combined with a Schottky diode. Layer 2 and the bottom layer are solid ground layers. Output load current 0A 0.5 A 1. Appendix Figure 22 and 23 show the component placement plans of the DC-to-DC converter reference board. Also for this topology NXP Semiconductors can offer suitable small-signal MOSFETs in various packages.293 V 3. All rights reserved. 6.295 V 3. This document describes the way of working of different DC-to-DC conversion topologies.294 V 3. synchronous DC-to-DC converters are recommended. 2012. VOUT and ground. Summary Highly efficient medium power DC-to-DC converters can be designed with NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFETs. This PCB is a 4 layer board with top layer containing solid copper areas which are connected to VIN.294 V 3. For even better efficiency.0 A 5.296 V 3. FET stage 2 × PMPB20EN in DFN2020MD-6 (SOT1220) package measured at power and sense contacts Output Voltage 3.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Stability of the output voltage versus load current. AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. Application note Rev.0 A 2.295 V 3. The first figure shows component names whereas the second one indicates component values.292 V Table 3. For a Schottky diode NXP Semiconductors offers a wide selection of components with low forward voltages in compact flat power packages.0 A 3. such as power dissipation in the switching stage. 2 — 5 July 2012 29 of 33 .296 V 3.1 A 0.0 A 6.0 A 4. A reference design for synchronous DC-to-DC converter was presented with most important design aspects.V. Layer 3 contains signal connections. © NXP B.

2012.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Fig 23. Application note Rev. 2 — 5 July 2012 30 of 33 . All rights reserved. © NXP B.V. Component placement plan of the DC-to-DC converter reference board with component names AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers.

V. All rights reserved. Component placement plan of the DC-to-DC converter reference board with component values AN11119 All information provided in this document is subject to legal disclaimers. Application note Rev. 2012.NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion Fig 24. © NXP B. 2 — 5 July 2012 31 of 33 .

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NXP Semiconductors accepts no liability for inclusion and/or use of NXP Semiconductors products in such equipment or applications and therefore such inclusion and/or use is at the customer’s own risk. expressed or implied. © NXP B. its affiliates and their suppliers and customer’s exclusive remedy for all of the foregoing shall be limited to actual damages incurred by customer based on reasonable reliance up to the greater of the amount actually paid by customer for the product or five dollars (US$5. Export control — This document as well as the item(s) described herein may be subject to export control regulations. NXP Semiconductors makes no representation or warranty that such applications will be suitable for the specified use without further testing or modification. life-critical or safety-critical systems or equipment. which may result in modifications or additions. 2012. loss of data or information. Export might require a prior authorization from competent authorities. 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NXP Semiconductors does not accept any liability related to any default. even if any remedy fails of its essential purpose. damage. business interruption. Suitability for use — NXP Semiconductors products are not designed. and NXP Semiconductors accepts no liability for any assistance with applications or customer product 7. In no event shall NXP Semiconductors. Applications — Applications that are described herein for any of these products are for illustrative purposes only.lost profits. It is customer’s sole responsibility to determine whether the NXP Semiconductors product is suitable and fit for the customer’s applications and products planned. as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and shall have no liability for the consequences of use of such information. even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Application note Rev. breach of contract. or the application or use by customer’s third party customer(s). nor in applications where failure or malfunction of an NXP Semiconductors product can reasonably be expected to result in personal injury. including but not limited to the implied warranties of non-infringement. whether or not based on tort (including negligence). death or severe property or environmental damage. This document supersedes and replaces all information supplied prior to the publication hereof. NXP does not accept any liability in this respect. and the like) arising out the use of or inability to use the product.without limitation . 2 — 5 July 2012 32 of 33 . authorized or warranted to be suitable for use in life support.00).3 Trademarks Notice: All referenced brands. consequential. product names. lost savings.

. . . . . Contents 1 2 2. . . . . . . . . .1 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Linear voltage regulation . . . . . . 32 Trademarks. . . . . . . . .com For sales office addresses. . . . . . . . . . 14 DC-to-DC up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 3. . . . . . . . . . 32 Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 DC-to-DC down-converter application board .3 8 Introduction . . . . . .3.3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Medium power DC-to-DC down-converter using small-signal MOSFETs . . . . 21 Dimensioning aspects for the inductor and output capacitor . . . . . . .1 2. . . . . . . . . 18 NXP Semiconductors small-signal MOSFETs suitable for DC-to-DC conversion .3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 DC-to-DC conversion methods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2012. . . . . . . . . 28 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 7. . . . . . . . . . . For more information. . . have been included in section ‘Legal information’. . . . . . . .NXP Semiconductors AN11119 Medium power small-signal MOSFETs in DC-to-DC conversion 8. . . . . . . .V. . . 33 Please be aware that important notices concerning this document and the product(s) described herein. 9 DC-to-DC up-converter. .1 3. . . . All rights reserved. . . . . . . . . . .com Date of release: 5 July 2012 Document identifier: AN11119 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Voltage conversion with a charge pump . .2 5 6 7 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 NXP Semiconductors high-performance small-signal MOSFETs in small packages. . . . © NXP B. . . . 32 Contents . 29 Appendix . . . . . . please visit: http://www. . . 21 MOSFET losses calculation .and down-converter . . . . . . . . . . .nxp. 9 DC-to-DC down-converter . . . . . . . . . 32 Disclaimers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 2. please send an email to: salesaddresses@nxp. . . . . . . .3 2. 29 Legal information. . . 26 Low RDSon N-channel small-signal MOSFETs 26 Measurements at the reference PCB with PMPB20EN switching stage . . . . . .1 4. . . 7 Topologies of voltage converters with inductances . . . .3 3 3. . . . . . . . . . .2 2. . . . . . .3 3. . . . .2 2. .4 4 4. .