Engineer-to-Engineer Note a EE-339 Technical notes on using Analog Devices DSPs, processors and development tools Visit our Web resources http://www.analog.com/ee-notes and http://www.analog.com/processors or e-mail [email protected] or [email protected] for technical support. Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors Contributed by Tony Seliverstov Rev 1 – May 14, 2008 Introduction The Blackfin® family of embedded processors includes an optional internal programmable pulse width modulation (PWM) voltage controller. Together with a set of external components, the PWM controller provides an adjustable internal voltage power supply that can be applied to the core and on-chip memory. This EE-Note describes how an external regulator can be used in conjunction with the internal voltage controller to: Improve dynamic performance Improve efficiency Improve stability Reduce the PCB area required Reduce the rating required for the external components This EE-Note also provides guidelines for designing such a regulator and gives test results from prototype circuitry designed using the recommendations herein. Also described is a method for using the behavior of the on-chip regulator to control the external regulator when the Blackfin processor is transitioned into the ultra-low power hibernate state. Connecting Blackfin Processors to an External Buck Regulator The structure of the internal voltage regulator is based on a very simple voltage controller. It does not include current-limiting functionality or synchronous rectification. It also does not include soft start capabilities. Figure 1 shows the recommended external circuitry to complete the regulator design, which includes a power FET (Q1), a diode (D1), an inductor (L1), and several capacitors (C1 - C5). See Switching Regulator Design Considerations for ADSP-BF533 Blackfin Processors (EE-328)[1] for details regarding component selection for this circuit and regulator design techniques and calculations for regulator-related specifications (e.g., efficiency). Copyright 2008, Analog Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. Analog Devices assumes no responsibility for customer product design or the use or application of customers’ products or for any infringements of patents or rights of others which may result from Analog Devices assistance. All trademarks and logos are property of their respective holders. Information furnished by Analog Devices applications and development tools engineers is believed to be accurate and reliable, however no responsibility is assumed by Analog Devices regarding technical accuracy and topicality of the content provided in Analog Devices Engineer-to-Engineer Notes. a Q1 L1 VIN C1 100uF C2 .1UF S1 S2 S3 G VCCINT 5 6 7 8 D1 D2 D3 D4 10uH C3 .1UF 1 + 1 2 3 4 C4 .1UF + C5 100uF D1 FDS9431A ZHCS1000 3 p-chanel MOSFET VROUT BF PROCESSOR Figure 1. Recommended regulator circuit design In conjunction with the design shown in Figure 1, the goal is to interface to an external adjustable buck converter, shown in Figure 2: Adjustable Buck Regulator L Vin IN Vout SW Vref Cin Error AMP GND Cout R1 FB R2 Figure 2. External adjustable buck regulator The regulator output voltage (Vout) is determined by the voltage divider created between R1 and R2 connected to feedback pin (FB), according to Equation 1: Vout = Vref * ( 1 + R1/ R2 ) Equation 1. Regulator output voltage Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 2 of 10 a In Equation 1, Vref is the regulator’s internal voltage reference specification. The configuration of the R1/R2 voltage divider may be modified with an additional resistor (R3) and an additional voltage source from the on-chip regulator (Vcntrl), as shown in Figure 3. Vout R1 R3 FB Vfb Vcntrl R2 Figure 3. Modified voltage divider circuit The fact that the Buck converter is a closed-loop feedback system allows the assumption to be made that the voltage on FB (Vfb) is equal to the internal voltage reference Vref. Since Vfb = Vref, Vout may then be calculated using a modified version of Equation 1 that takes the second voltage divider circuit into account, as shown in Equation 2: Vout = Vref * ( 1 + R1/R2 + R1/R 3) - Vcntrl * (R1/R3) Equation 2. Modified regulator output voltage As indicated in Equation 2, Vout is a function of the buck regulator’s internal voltage reference (Vref), the additional external voltage (Vcntrl), and the ratios of the R1, R2, and R3 resistors connected to the feedback pin (FB) of the regulator. If the VRout pins of the Blackfin processor are connected through a low-pass filter to resistor R3, an internal voltage regulator is formed using the Blackfin processor’s voltage controller as part of an additional feedback loop. The voltage on the VRout pins of the Blackfin processor is a PWM voltage with a duty cycle D[1]. After passing this through the low-pass filter, the generated DC voltage (Vcntrl) can be expressed as: Vcntrl = D * Vin Equation 3. Voltage generated by on-chip regulator In Equation 3, Vin is the DC supply voltage on the I/O pins of the Blackfin processor. Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 3 of 10 a Choosing External Components Now that the connection between the on-chip regulator’s complementary external circuitry and the external buck regulator circuitry has been defined, the next step is to determine the values for all the parameters and components to provide reliable regulator operation. Known Values The values for some of the components and parameters are already known. Vout can be obtained from the processor data sheet as the acceptable VDDINT range. For example, the 500-MHz ADSP-BF534 Blackfin processor[2] defines this range to be Vout(min) = 0.8 V to Vout(max) = 1.32 V, and the default value at poweron is 1.2 V. Note that this range equates to 0.85 V to 1.20 V in terms of programmable values in the onchip regulator after the regulator’s specified tolerance is factored in. [2] Vin can be obtained from the processor data sheet , as well, from the specification for VDDEXT. Using the ADSP-BF534 Blackfin processor as the example again, Vin(nom) = 3.3 V, and the specified range is Vin(min) = 2.7 V to Vin(max) = 3.6 V. Vref can range from 0.6 V to 1.2 V, as determined by the manufacturer’s specifications for the regulator. R1 and R2 are also usually specified by the buck regulator’s manufacturer. To provide a specific dynamic range margin for the Blackfin processor’s on-chip controller, D should be in the range of 0.2 – 0.7 [1]. Using Equation 3, the range of Vcntrl can be determined: Vcntrl(min) = Dmin * Vin(min) = 0.54 V Vcntrl(max) = Dmax * Vin(max) = 2.52 V Unknown Values The values of R3 and the parameters for the low-pass filter components can be calculated from the known values described in the previous section. Because of the large variation in the values for R1 and R2 that are recommended by different regulators manufacturers, the ratios R1/R2, R1/R3 and R1/R2 should be used instead for the calculations. If it is assumed that R2 = R3, then the ratios R1/R2, and R1/R3 are also equal. As such, Equation 2, for the maximum core voltage (Vout(max)), may be rewritten as: Vout(max) = Vref * (1+2R1/R2) - Vcntrl(min)*(R1/R2) Equation 4. Maximum regulator output voltage If Vref = 0.8 V, the R1/R2 ratio can be obtained by solving Equation 4: 1.2 = 0.8 * (1 + 2 * R1/R2) - 0.54 * R1/R2 This gives R1/R2 = 0.4 for Vref = 0.8 V. Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 4 of 10 a This process can be employed for any value of Vref. For example, if Vref is 0.6 V, the optimal R1/R2 ratio is 0.9. Similarly, if Vref is 1.0 V, the optimal R1/R2 ratio is 0.43. With R1/R2 = 0.4 and Vref = 0.8 V, Equation 4 can be solved for Vcntrl in terms of the duty cycle from the PWM controller (D), as defined by Equation 3. In other words: Vout = Vref *(1 + 2 * R1/R2) – (D * Vin)*(R1/R2) Equation 5. Modified regulator output voltage Recalling that Vin ranges from 2.7 V to 3.6 V, with a nominal value of 3.3 V, Table 1 shows the requirements for D for various desired Vout levels using Equation 5 and given that R1/R2 = 0.4 for Vref = 0.8 V. Vout (V) Parameter 1.20 1.10 1.00 0.90 0.80 D (Vin(min)) 0.22 0.31 0.41 0.50 0.67 D (Vin(nom)) 0.18 0.26 0.33 0.40 0.54 D (Vin(max)) 0.17 0.24 0.30 0.37 0.50 Table 1. Duty cycle requirements As seen in Table 1, all D values are within the range defined by the preliminary assumptions. Further, taking the data from Table 1, Equation 3 can be applied to obtain values for Vcntrl as shown in the following table. Vout (V) Parameter 1.20 Vcntrl (V) 0.60 1.10 0.85 1.00 1.10 0.90 1.32 0.80 1.80 Table 2. Voltage from VRout Before it can be used as Vcntrl, the VRout PWM signal should also be low-pass filtered. The best way of implementing a low-pass filter function is by splitting R3 into two resistors, R3a and R3b, and putting a filtering capacitor C3 to GND, as shown in Figure 4: Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 5 of 10 a Vin Vin R1 R1 R3b D1 R3a FB VROUT R2 FB C3 2 R3b R2 a ) R3a VROUT 1 C3 b ) Figure 4. Low pass filter recommendations The capacitance for C3 may be chosen from the cut-off frequency equation for the low-pass filter: fc = 1 2πR3C3 Equation 6. Low-pass filter cut-off frequency In order to provide effective filtering of the 1-MHz PWM VRout signal (and not reduce the bandwidth of the external regulator), the cut-off frequency should be chosen to be around 100 kHz. Diode D1 shown in Figure 4b serves as a decoupling component for the impedance of the VRout pins in order to prevent additional biasing of regulator feedback input. The diode’s forward voltage (Vdf) should be low enough to not substantially increase the value of the needed Vcntrl signal. A Panasonic Schottky barrier diode MA27D29 has a Vdf of 0.25 V, which is low enough to be used in this application. For other diodes, the calculation of R1/R2 should be made after adding Vdf to Vcntrl(min). Practical Implementation and Test Results The PCB layout and the lead-lag compensation of the error amplifier of the external voltage regulator are the most critical aspects of a practical implementation of core power supplies using this method, as the additional feedback loop from the Blackfin processor’s voltage controller may cause instability for that power supply. In the PCB layout process, designers should follow the recommendations of the chosen regulator’s manufacturer. In most of the voltage regulator specifications, the recommended PCB layout is given, and designers should make their PCB layout resemble that recommended layout as close as possible. Configuration of and values for the error amplifier compensation components are given by the chosen voltage regulator’s manufacturer. Usually, following these recommendations will provide stable operation of the regulator. If the regulator is unstable with the recommended values of compensation components, try to make compensation more “stiff” by decreasing the value of the compensation resistor and proportionally increasing the value of the compensation capacitor. Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 6 of 10 a The Blackfin processor’s internal voltage regulator was successfully implemented with several external regulators. Linear Technology’s LTC3406 step-down regulator was tested with the ADSP-BF537 and ADSP-BF533 Blackfin processors. The LTC3406 did not require any external compensation. Linear Technology’s LTC3411 was verified with the dual-core ADSP-BF561 Blackfin processor. For this system to work reliably, compensation was necessary. Specifically, additional external resistance (Rc = 1.3 kΩ) and capacitance (Cc = 10,000 pF) were needed. Finally, the Analog Devices ADP3051 buck switching regulator was verified for the ADSP-BF537 Blackfin processor. Again, to ensure reliability, compensation components were needed (Rc = 6.2 kΩ, and Cc = 3,900 pF). The schematic for the core voltage power supply using the ADP3051 regulator is shown in Figure 5. The NAND gate in U7, the R194 and R219 resistors, the C91 and C92 capacitors, and the D9 diode form the circuitry responsible for the “hibernate wake-up” function of the core voltage supply. Pin 7 of the voltage regulator from U7 is the shutdown signal (/SHDN). /SHDN should be high during normal operation and low when the processor is in hibernate state. The operation of this circuit is based on two assumptions that are derived from the behavior of the VRout pins when using the Blackfin processor’s on-chip regulator. First, during the normal modes of operation, the VRout signal is always a PWM signal. Second, in hibernate state, VRout, is driven high. Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 7 of 10 a Figure 5. Core voltage power supply schematic Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 8 of 10 a The timing diagram depicting transitions between any of the “normal” operating modes and hibernate state is presented in Figure 6. VROUT Pin 1 of U7 Pin 4 of U7 ( /SHDN ) NORMAL HIBERNATE NORMAL Figure 6. Timing diagram for transitions between normal modes of operation and hibernate state The efficiency of this regulator design can also be analyzed. Again, see Switching Regulator Design Considerations for ADSP-BF533 Blackfin Processors (EE-328) [1] for details regarding how to calculate efficiency. Table 3 captures the efficiency rating for the recommended design given various loading conditions at four discrete preset levels for Vout. Conditions (Load, Vout Level) Vin (V) Vddint (V) Iin (mA) Iddint (mA) Pin (mW) Pddint (mW) Efficiency (%) Low, 1.20 V 3.3 1.255 23.2 54.2 76.56 68.02 88.8 Low, 1.00 V 3.3 1.049 16.0 41.1 52.80 43.11 81.6 Low, 0.90 V 3.3 0.940 12.8 35.8 42.24 33.65 79.7 Low, 0.80 V 3.3 0.890 11.7 32.6 38.61 34.47 89.3 Medium, 1.20 V 3.3 1.260 43.7 103.2 144.2 130.0 90.2 Medium, 1.00 V 3.3 1.055 29.0 78.9 95.70 83.24 87.0 Medium, 0.90 V 3.3 0.943 22.9 68.5 75.57 64.59 85.4 Medium, 0.80 V 3.3 0.897 22.4 65.5 73.92 58.75 79.5 High, 1.20 V 3.3 1.278 76.3 181.7 251.8 232.2 92.2 High, 1.00 V 3.3 1.067 51.4 142.5 169.6 152.1 89.6 High, 0.90 V 3.3 0.951 41.7 124.0 125.1 118.0 95.1 High, 0.80 V 3.3 0.901 36.3 115.3 119.8 103.9 86.7 Table 3. Efficiency rating for regulator design at various loads and Vout levels Finally, an oscilloscope plot was captured, showing the voltage response when transitioning from the hibernate state to the full-on mode of operation. Figure 7 depicts the relationship between the core voltage (VDDINT) and the on-chip regulator’s oscillation output over the VRout pins. Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 9 of 10 a Figure 7. Oscilloscope plot for transition from hibernate state to full-on mode of operation In Figure 7, channel 1 is the upper trace, which is the VDDINT plot at 200 mV/division, and channel 2 is the lower trace, which is the VRout signal at 2.0 V/division. References [1] Switching Regulator Design Considerations for ADSP-BF533 Blackfin Processors (EE-328). Rev 1, February 2005. Analog Devices, Inc. [2] ADSP-BF534/ADSP-BF536/ADSP-BF537 Blackfin Embedded Processor Data Sheet. Rev F, May 2008. Analog Devices, Inc. Document History Revision Description Rev 1 – May 14, 2008 by T. Seliverstov Initial Release Using External Switching Regulators with Blackfin® Processors (EE-339) Page 10 of 10

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