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20 mV Step-Up Converter for Energy Harvesting Applications

Tue, 12/01/2009 - 6:05am

MILPITAS, CA - December 1, 2009 - Linear Technology announces the LTC3108, a highly integrated step-up DC/DC converter designed to start-up and run from extremely low input voltage sources such as thermoelectric generators (TEGs), thermopiles and small solar cells. Its self-resonant topology steps up from input voltages as low as 20mV. Small temperature differences can be harvested and used to generate system power instead of traditional battery power. Energy harvesters are designed for applications requiring very low average power, but require periodic pulses of higher load current. For example, in many wireless sensor applications the circuitry is only powered to take measurements and transmit data periodically at low duty cycle.

The LTC3108 uses a small standard step-up transformer to provide a complete power management solution. Its 2.2V LDO can power an external microcontroller, while its main output is pin selectable to one of four (2.35V, 3.3V, 4.1V or 5V) fixed voltages to power a wireless transmitter or sensors. A second switched output can be enabled by the host in order to power devices that do not have a micropower shutdown capability. The addition of a storage capacitor provides continuous power even when the input energy source is unavailable. The LTC3108's extremely low quiescent current (<6µA) and high efficiency design ensure the fastest possible charge times for the output reservoir capacitor. The combination of the LTC3108's 3mm x 4mm DFN package (or SSOP-16) and very small external components ensure a highly compact solution for energy harvesting applications.

LTC3108The LTC3108EDE's in a 3mm x 4mm DFN package and the LTC3108EGN is available in a SSOP-16 package. Pricing starts at $2.95 each for 1,000-piece quantities. Industrial temperature grade versions, the LTC3108IDE and LTC3108IGN, are also available. Pricing starts at $3.45 each for 1,000-piece quantities. All versions are available from stock. For more information, visit www.linear.com.

 
Summary of Features: LTC3108
Operates from a 20mV Input
Complete Energy Harvesting Power
Management System
  • Selectable VOUT of 2.35V, 3.3V, 4.1V or 5V
  • LDO: 2.2V at 3mA
  • Logic Controlled Switched Output
  • Reserve Energy Output
Power Good Indicator
Ultralow IQ: 6µA
Uses Standard Compact Step-Up Transformer
Small 12-Lead (3mm × 4mm) DFN or 16-Lead
SSOP Packages

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