DN497 - Protect Sensitive Circuits from Overvoltage and Reverse Supply Connections

Protect Sensitive Circuits from Overvoltage and Reverse Supply
Design Note 497
Victor Fleury
What would happen if someone connected 24V to your
12V circuits? If the power and ground lines were inadvertently reversed, would the circuits survive? Does your
application reside in a harsh environment, where the input
supply can ring very high or even below ground? Even
if these events are unlikely, it only takes one to destroy
a circuit board.
Undervoltage, Overvoltage and Reverse-Supply
The LTC ®4365 is a unique solution that elegantly and
robustly protects sensitive circuits from unpredictably
high or negative supply voltages. The LTC4365 blocks
positive voltages as high as 60V and negative voltages as
low as –40V. Only voltages in the safe operating supply
range are passed along to the load. The only external
active component required is a dual N-channel MOSFET
connected between the unpredictable supply and the
sensitive load.
To block negative supply voltages, system designers
traditionally place a power diode or P-channel MOSFET in
series with the supply. However, diodes take up valuable
board space and dissipate a significant amount of power
at high load currents. The P-channel MOSFET dissipates
less power than the series diode, but the MOSFET and
the circuitry required to drive it increases costs. Both of
these solutions sacrifice low supply operation, especially
the series diode. Also, neither protects against voltages
that are too high—protection that requires more circuitry,
including a high voltage window comparator and charge
Figure 1 shows a complete application. A resistive divider
sets the overvoltage (OV) and undervoltage (UV) trip
points for connecting/disconnecting the load from VIN. If
the input supply wanders outside this voltage window, the
LTC4365 quickly disconnects the load from the supply.
The dual N-channel MOSFET blocks both positive and
negative voltages at VIN. The LTC4365 provides 8.4V
of enhancement to the gate of the external MOSFET
L, LT, LTC, LTM, Linear Technology and the Linear logo are registered trademarks and
Hot Swap is a trademark of Linear Technology Corporation. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners.
OV = 18V
UV = 3.5V
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Figure 1. Complete 12V Automotive Undervoltage, Overvoltage and Reverse-Supply Protection Circuit
during normal operation. The valid operating range of
the LTC4365 is as low as 2.5V and as high as 34V—the
OV to UV window can be anywhere in this range. No
protective clamps at VIN are needed for most applications, further simplifying board design.
Accurate and Fast Overvoltage and Undervoltage
Two accurate (±1.5%) comparators in the LTC4365 monitor
for overvoltage (OV) and undervoltage (UV) conditions
at VIN. If the input supply rises above the OV or below
the UV thresholds, respectively, the gate of the external
MOSFET is quickly turned off. The external resistive
divider allows a user to select an input supply range that
is compatible with the load at VOUT. Furthermore, the UV
and OV inputs have very low leakage currents (typically
< 1nA at 100°C), allowing for large values in the external
resistive divider.
Figure 2 shows how the circuit of Figure 1 reacts as
VIN slowly ramps from –30V to 30V. The UV and OV
thresholds are set to 3.5V and 18V, respectively. VOUT
tracks VIN when the supply is inside the 3.5V to 18V
window. Outside of this window, the LTC4365 turns off
the N-channel MOSFET, disconnecting VOUT from VIN,
even when VIN is negative.
Novel Reverse Supply Protection
The LTC4365 employs a novel negative supply protection
circuit. When the LTC4365 senses a negative voltage at
VIN, it quickly connects the GATE pin to VIN. There is no
diode drop between the GATE and VIN voltages. With
the gate of the external N-channel MOSFET at the most
negative potential (VIN), there is minimal leakage from
VOUT to the negative voltage at VIN.
Figure 3 shows what happens when VIN is hot-plugged to
–20V. VIN, VOUT and GATE start out at ground just before
the connection is made. Due to the parasitic inductance
of the VIN and GATE connections, the voltage at VIN and
GATE pins ring significantly below –20V. The external
MOSFET must have a breakdown voltage that survives
this overshoot.
The speed of the LTC4365 reverse protection circuits is
evident by how closely the GATE pin follows VIN during the
negative transients. The two waveforms are almost indistinguishable on the scale shown. Note that no additional
external circuits are needed to provide reverse protection.
There’s More! AC Blocking, Reverse VIN
Hot Swap™ Control When VOUT is Powered
After either an OV or UV fault has occurred (or when VIN
goes negative), the input supply must return to the valid
operating voltage window for at least 36ms in order to
turn the external MOSFET back on. This effectively blocks
50Hz and 60Hz unrectified AC.
LTC4365 also protects against negative VIN connections
even when VOUT is driven by a separate supply. As long
as the breakdown voltage of the external MOSFET is not
exceeded (60V), the 20V supply at VOUT is not affected
by the reverse polarity connection at VIN.
The LTC4365 controller protects sensitive circuits from
overvoltage, undervoltage and reverse-supply connections using back-to-back MOSFETs and no diodes. The
supply voltage is passed to the output only if it is qualified
by the user-adjustable UV and OV trip thresholds. Any
voltage outside this window is blocked, up to 60V and
down to –40V.
The LTC4365’s novel architecture results in a rugged, small
solution size with minimal external components, and it
is available in tiny 8-pin 3mm × 2mm DFN and TSOT-23
packages. The LTC4365 has a wide 2.5V to 34V operating
range and consumes only 10μA during shutdown.
OV = 18V
UV = 3.5V
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Figure 2. Load Protection as VIN Is Swept from –30V to 30V
Data Sheet Download
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Figure 3. Hot Swap Protection from VIN to –20V
For applications help,
call (408) 432-1900
Linear Technology Corporation
dn497f LT/AP 1211 196K • PRINTED IN THE USA
FAX: (408) 434-0507 ● www.linear.com
1630 McCarthy Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035-7417
(408) 432-1900