Latest buck-boost/boost switching regulators increase battery life in mobile devices

Intersil Corporation has unveiled a new high-current buck-boost and boost switching regulator family that comes in a tiny, integrated CSP package, and which enables improved efficiency for high current designs in a small form factor. The new ISL911xx family of switching regulators offer an innovative architecture that offers up to 96 percent efficiency to extend battery life and reduce overheating in high-current handheld devices.

The proprietary architecture allows for smooth transitions from buck to boost to prevent glitches and noise in smartphones, tablets and other single-cell lithium ion (Li) battery-based systems.

The new launch of the new family comes as mobile OEMs are under significant pressure to differentiate their device offerings, which are becoming more power hungry as consumers continue to demand increased processing capability and seamless connectivity in shrinking form factors. Issues such as shortened battery life, glitches and overheating often result from these increased system demands and can impact significantly on the performance of the end product. Intersil is looking to help OEMs address these issues with the new ISL911xx switching regulators by improving the system performance and power efficiency of their devices.

The ISL91110 and ISL91108 buck-boost switching regulators are used in mobile devices to supply the system power management IC (PMIC), the Wi-Fi or radio frequency (RF) power amplifier, as well as other system peripherals such as the camera and memory interfaces. The ISL911xx family is based on proprietary, fully synchronous four-switch architecture. This architecture enables a seamless transition from buck to boost, with the delivery of up to 2.5A output current at the lowest single-cell Li battery voltages to significantly improve power efficiency, increase battery life and prevent overheating of mobile devices.

The new ISL911xx series allows devices to handle large current bursts from spikes in power consumption without significant output disturbance. This permits reliable system operation under all load conditions without any glitches or noise, resulting in an improved user experience for consumers. Intersil’s buck-boost regulators also allow system designers to leverage a wider range of battery voltage in their system designs due to the regulators’ ability to cover the full range of the most advanced Li battery chemistry.

The ISL911xx family is capable of working with the smallest inductors and capacitors, making them a suitable converter solution for mobile devices. A 2.6MHz switching frequency further reduces the power supply solution size. The ISL911xx series is packaged in an advanced wafer-level CSP package, reducing the footprint of the device to as small as 2.34mm by 1.72mm. Furthermore, the switching regulators require only a single inductor and very few external components, minimizing overall space requirements.

The ISL911xx series consists of three models that are tailored specifically for the following applications:

  • The ISL91110 is the highest-current switching regulator of the series and has been designed for smartphone and tablet PC OEMs as a supply for the system PMIC, the Wi-Fi or RF power amplifiers, or other peripheral devices such as memory cards. It can provide 2A of current at input voltages as low as 2.5V. The device improves overall system efficiency, which translates into longer battery run-times and the prevention of brown-outs during large burst currents from high-power application processors.
  • The ISL91108 is designed for smartphone and tablet PC OEMs as a supply for the system PMIC, Wi-Fi or RF power amplifiers, or other peripheral devices such as memory cards. The device improves overall system efficiency, which translates into increased battery life and the elimination of brown-outs during large burst currents from quad-core processors. The ISL91108 is efficient at light loads, making it suitable for “always-on” applications.
  • The ISL91117 is a highly-integrated boost switching regulator for battery powered applications. The device is used by smartphone and tablet PC OEMs to boost voltage in applications in which small solution size, flexibility and efficiency are critical. The ISL91117 is available in both fixed 5V as well as adjustable output voltage options.


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