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DIOFET™ boosts PoL efficiency, reduces heat versus
standard MOSFET
Dean Wang, and Yong Ang, Applications Engineer, Diodes Inc.
Introduction
This application note describes the benefits of using the DMS3014SSS in the low-side MOSFET
position of synchronous buck point-of-load (PoL) converters. The DMS3014SSS utilizes Diodes
Incorporated’s proprietary DIOFET™ technology that monolithically integrates a power MOSFET and
a anti-parallel Schottky diode into a single die. DIOFET technology reduces both RDS(ON) and antiparallel diode VSD induced losses, ultimately improving the efficiency of PoL converters. The electrical
and thermal performance benefits of the DMS3014SSS are illustrated through comparison with a
comparable standard MOSFET in a popular synchronous buck converter.
Low-side MOSFET considerations for synchronous Buck converter
Microprocessor based computing, telecom and industrial systems have become increasingly
sophisticated and ever more powerful. This places stringent demands on the power density and
dissipation of the PoL converters. The synchronous buck converter is the most popular topology for
PoL converters due to its low conduction loss and high switching frequency enabling miniaturization of
magnetic component.
The primary building blocks of a synchronous buck converter are, shown in Figure 1: the high-side
control MOSFETs (Q1 and Q3); low-side synchronous MOSFETs (Q2 and Q4); output inductors (L1
and L2) and PWM controller. The PWM controller was chosen because it can supply sufficient current
to drive the MOSFETs at high frequency. It also provides simple, single feedback loop, voltage mode
control with fast transient response. In this example, the PWM IC is a dual-output step down controller
that operates from an input range of 3V to 28V.
Figure 1. Dual-channel POL converter using DMS3014SSS and DMG4466SSS
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The majority of the power losses in a PoL converter are due to losses in the external MOSFETs.
These are:
•
Conduction losses in the low-side synchronous MOSFETs (Q2 and Q4)
•
Switching losses in the high-side MOSFETs (Q1 and Q3)
•
Body diode conduction in Q2 and Q4
•
Reverse-recovery charge losses due to Q2 and Q4 body diode
The efficiency of a PoL converter can be improved if these losses can be reduced. As the duty cycle of
the PWM IC is low then the conduction cycle of the synchronous MOSFET can be as high as 73%.
Therefore the biggest improvement in PoL performance can be achieved by selecting a synchronous
MOSFET with low RDS(ON), to minimize these conduction losses.
Furthermore, conduction losses can be further reduced by ensuring that the forward voltage drop of
the low-side MOSFET’s anti-parallel diode is as low as possible. The anti-parallel diodes, which are
normally the body diodes of Q2 and Q4, conduct during the PWM controller’s dead time. It is for this
reason that external Schottky diodes are often used in parallel with the low-side MOSFET since its
VSD is much lower than the intrinsic body diode of the MOSFET.
Schottky diodes also provides softer reverse recovery characteristic, lowering the turn ON losses of
Q1 and Q3 at high frequency. However, the disadvantage of such implementation is that the external
diode adds capacitance to the circuit, increasing the MOSFET turn OFF switching loss. Extra care is
also needed to minimize layout’s parasitic inductance; otherwise the effectiveness of the Schottky will
be reduced—if not negated.
.
DMS3014SSS improves POL’s efficiency and reliability
The DMS3014SSS is a monolithically integrated MOSFET and Schottky that addresses these circuit
requirements. It features a low RDS(ON) ,to minimize conduction losses, and the typical VSD of the
integrated Schottky diode is 48% lower than that of a standard Trench MOSFET (see comparison in
table 1) further reducing conduction losses. Furthermore, the lower QRR and softer reverse recovery
characteristics of the integrated Schottky diode reduce switching losses.
The monolithically integrated DMS3014SSS removes the need for an additional anti-parallel Schottky
diode, simplifying circuit design.
Table 1 compares details the main electrical parameters of the DMS3014SSS with a standard
MOSFET – Diodes part number DMN4800LSS.
Parameter
SYMBOL
Drain-Source Voltage
VDSS
Gate Threshold Voltage
VGS(th)
On- Resistance
RDS(ON)
Test Condition
VGS=VDS, ID=250uA
DMS3014SSS
DMN4800LSS
UNIT
30
30
V
1
2.2
0.8
1.2
1.6
VGS=10V (DMS3014SSS)
VGS=10V (DMN4800LSS)
10
14
11
14
VGS=4.5V (DMS3014SSS)
VGS=4.5V (DMN4800LSS)
11
15.4
14
20
VDS=0V, VGS=0V,
F=1.0MHz
1.3
1.37
5.00
1.70
2.90
2.40
0.37
Gate Resistance
RG
Gate-Source Charge
Qgs
Gate-Drain Charge
Qgd
VGS=10V, VDS=15V
VGS=5V, VDS=15V
Diode Forward Voltage
VSD
VGS=0V, IS=1A
V
mΩ
Ω
nC
0.50
0.72
0.94
V
Table 1 Electrical characteristic of MOSFETs for low-side synchronous switch
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Performance evaluation
The performance of DMS3014SSS was evaluated against that of the DMN4800LSS in a two output
buck converter as shown in figure 1. The low gate charge, fast switching DMG4496SSS was selected
as the high side switch (Q1 and Q3) and the DMS3014SSS and DMN4800LSS were in turn evaluated
in the synchronous position (Q2 and Q4). The efficiency of the 3.3V and 5V output voltages were
measured whilst the converters output load was then varied from 0.8A to 8A in 1A steps. These
measurements were taken under two input voltage conditions: at 19V’s, to simulate the input voltage
of a notebook PC from the AC Adaptor and then at 9V to simulate the output voltage from a notebook
PC battery pack. The results of these efficiency measurements are shown in Figures 2 and 3.
Figures 2a and 3a highlight that the PoL converter is 0.5 to 1% more efficient at output currents of >4A
when the DMS3014SSS is used as the synchronous MOSFET. Similarly, an increase in efficiency is
observed when the PoL converter operates from a 9V battery.
DMG4466SSS + DMS3014SSS
DMG4466SSS + DMS3014SSS
DMG4466SSS + DMN4800LSS
DMG4466SSS + DMN4800LSS
95.0%
97.0%
94.5%
96.5%
93.5%
96.0%
93.0%
95.5%
Efficiency (%)
Efficiency (%)
94.0%
92.5%
92.0%
91.5%
95.0%
94.5%
94.0%
91.0%
93.5%
90.5%
90.0%
93.0%
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
0
1
2
3
Load (A)
4
5
6
7
8
Load (A)
(a)
(b)
Figure 2. 5V output POL converter efficiency at (a) Vin = 19V and (b) Vin = 9V
DMG4466SSS + DMS3014SSS
DMG4466SSS + DMS3014SSS
DMG4466SSS + DMN4800LSS
Efficiency (%)
DMG4466SS + DMN4800LSS
94.0%
96.00%
93.5%
95.50%
93.0%
95.00%
92.5%
94.50%
92.0%
94.00%
91.5%
93.50%
91.0%
93.00%
90.5%
92.50%
90.0%
92.00%
89.5%
91.50%
89.0%
0
1
2
3
4
Load (A)
(a)
5
6
7
8
91.00%
0.08
1.00
2.00
3.00
4.00
5.00
6.00
7.00
8.00
(b)
Figure 3. 3.3V output POL converter efficiency at (a) Vin = 19V and (b) Vin = 9V
Another important circuit consideration is the limitation of shoot-through or cross conduction current in
the circuit. At high switching frequencies there is a risk that a temporary shoot-through or cross
conduction could happen. This occurs during the switch-on interval of the high-side MOSFET as a
very high dV/dt on the phase node (see Figure 1) that induces a gate voltage on the synchronous
MOSFETs (Q2 and Q4). If the synchronous MOSFET sees an induced voltage greater than the gate
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threshold VGS(th), then it could be turned ON whilst the high-side switch is ON. This causes excessive
power dissipation in both MOSFETs, and could ultimately leads to devices failure.
Shoot through can be minimized by selecting a synchronous MOSFET that has a low gate
capacitance ratio (Qgd/ Qgs). The DMS3014SSS has a gate capacitance ratio of 0.58 which is much
lower than that of the standard trench MOSFET, as shown in comparison table 1. Figure 4 illustrates
that no shoot-through was observed when the DMS3014SSS was used as the synchronous MOSFET
even when the phase node is subjected to rate of change of 600V/ns.
Figure 4 Operating waveforms at the turn-on transition of the high-side switch (Pink: Low-side
MOSFET’s VGS; Blue: High-side MOSFET’s VGS; Cyan: Phase voltage
Furthermore, a thermal camera was used to measure the temperature of the high side and
synchronous MOSFETs under during these efficiency evaluations. As can be seen in Figure 5 the
DMS3014SSS operates at a temperature that is 10% lower than that of the DMN4800LSS.
This lower operating temperature reduces conduction loss in the surrounding components and
increases reliability, every 10ºC reduction in the junction temperature of the MOSFET will double the
lifetime reliability of the PoL converter.
(a)
(b)
Figure 5. 5V output, 19V input POL converter thermal measurements for (a) DMS3014SSS and
(b) DMN4800LSS
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Conclusion
It has been demonstrated that the efficiency of the PoL converter can be increased by up to 1 % when
the DMS3014SSS is used to replace a comparable standard trench MOSFET. Furthermore, the
DMS3014SS provides this increase in performance whilst operating at a lower temperature, reducing
conduction losses in the surrounding components and doubling the reliability of the PoL converter.
Furthermore, the DMS3014SSS operates at a higher efficiency enabling the PoL converter to have a
higher current handling capability or operate with a lower device junction temperature.
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without the express written approval of the Chief Executive Officer of Diodes Incorporated. As used herein:
A. Life support devices or systems are devices or systems which:
1. are intended to implant into the body, or
2. support or sustain life and whose failure to perform when properly used in accordance with instructions for use
provided in the labeling can be reasonably expected to result in significant injury to the user.
B. A critical component is any component in a life support device or system whose failure to perform can be reasonably
expected to cause the failure of the life support device or to affect its safety or effectiveness.
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