Synchronous buck up to 100% duty cycle

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by mwilliford, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. mwilliford

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    I'd like to build a synchronous buck converter with about the following specs, notice that I want the ability for Vin = Vout, up to 100% duty cycle.

    Vin = 12-100v
    Vout = 12-18v
    Vin >= Vout (minus the voltage drop from Rdson)
    Iout = 40amp
    F = 400khz
    duty cycle = 0 - 100% (in the case of Vin = Vout, 100% always on)
    1.5-2amp high side driver peak current (A guess based on some mosfets I've calculated)

    Controlled by a dsp, using a PID routine.

    Options and Questions:
    If I want the possibility of turning on the high-side (transition from buck to an always on high-side), what are my options for driving this sync buck?

    1. If I use a typical high-side driver that calls for a bootstrap capacitor (which I think would normally limit my duty cycle to somewhere well below 100%), can I replace Cboost with a dedicated power supply 10volts above Vout? Somewhere between 22-24 volts for the high side gate supply. How would I wire this, I can't find application notes that discuss such a use of a high-side driver? Can a high-side mofset driver be driven to 100% duty cycle with a dedicated Vboost supply?

    2. If not, I have considered using a high-side driver for sync buck operation (with bootstrap cap), then when I want to switch to always on mode, I could have some op amp (with dedicated supply) power the gate. Of course the DSP would shut down the buck pwm and use a ttl output for the op amp. This complicates the design, I prefer option #1 above.

    3. I looked for a charge-pump high-side driver that could run at 100% duty cycle, but didn't find anything. Perhaps this is an option if such a part exists.

    Perhaps it would help to know why I want to do this:

    Reason: At some voltage of Vin (perhaps near 13v), it would be more efficient to directly connect the Vin = Vout. I can limit the loss to Rdson of the high-side (plus overhead of gate supply and dsp), and skip the switching losses.

    I'm obviously new to using high-side mosfet drivers with bootstrap capacitors, any help would be appreciated.

  2. JDT

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Yes you can. Use a small DC-DC converter to power your high-side MOSFET. It will need to have no more than 12V output. The -ve output of this supply goes to the high-side source, +ve basically across the bootstrap capacitor. You will still need the bootstrap capacitor as you need a reservoir of charge to charge the gate-source capacitance. The peak current may be amps!

    You will have to check the datasheet of your high-side driver to be sure that there are no other restrictions to 100% on-time. Sometimes they have capacitive coupling on the chip for the gate drive signal.

    It is possible to get an optically-coupled MOSFET driver. Use this with your DC-DC converter. Look at Avago ACPL-3130-300E (Farnell 164-0539)


    I've picked one type a random. There seems to be quite a large range.
  3. mwilliford

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    I'll look into the opto-coupled high-side drivers, I didn't think of those. Thanks!

    Regarding a bootstrapable high-side:
    I did plan on having some sort of supply for the high-side driver, however if It isn't has high as the Vgs of the high-side mofset, it will rely on the boostrap capacitor to charge on the off-cycle, correct? This is my understanding of the various datasheets i've read. This limits my duty cycle to < 100%, am I correct? Unfortunately most datasheets don't talk about this, so it is a bit hard to figure out what the possibilities are. So I was thinking of having both a supply for the high-side driver itself AND a higher supply to replace the boostrap capacitor. This higher supply would have a capacitor on the ouput capable of the 2amp surge for 25ns or so. Then I think I could turn on the high-side 100%.

    Thoughts if this would work?
  4. JDT

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    By having a separate supply for your high-side driver you are no longer "bootstrapping".

    Your separate supply needs to have a high enough voltage to fully switch on the MOSFET. 12-15V will be OK. This is referenced to the source of the MOSFET.

    The actual voltage of the MOSFET above the system ground is not relevant.

    See attached drawing.