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SBIR/STTR

Rad-Hard LDO, Phase I

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Alphacore Inc. will develop a wide temperature range, digitally controlled linear low-dropout regulators (D-LDOs) for space and harsh environment applications. Alphacore Inc will collaborate with ASU scientists to develop a radiation hardened-by design, digital intensive, unconditionally stable D-LDO with the following features: - A fully integrated digital low drop-out regulator (DLDO) with a fast transient response providing a well-regulated supply for system-on-chip (SoC) power management applications - Wideband operation and fast transient response are achieved through a transient enhanced digital Proportional and Integration (PI) controller, without compromising the stability of the DLDO. - The transient enhancement stage boosts D-LDO loop-gain dynamically during load transients. In the gain boosting mode, the D-LDO closed loop bandwidth is increased, resulting in reduced undershoot/overshoot and faster recovery of the output voltage. When the output voltage recovers to the desired level, the boost mode operation is disabled. LDOs are commonly used in low noise, fast response RF, analog, mixed-signal, and digital core power management applications. Fast response associated with LDOs provide a fast and energy-efficient wake-up, and low noise operation. Lack of high-speed switching and an LC type output filter makes them more attractive for high dynamic range telecommunication signal chain applications. To ensure fault-free operation of the digital cores and memory chips, the supply voltage must remain within a certain error window with minimum deviation under transient events, typical in space application. This supply voltage window is determined by reliability constraints of the process used in the upper boundary and speed requirements on the lower boundary. Alphacore Inc. and ASU's proposed digital linear low-dropout regulator will be fully digitally controlled, enabling portability across various process technologies. More »

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