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A Compact Fully-Integrated Extremum-Selector-Based Soft-Start Circuit for Voltage Regulators in Bulk CMOS Technologies

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2 Author(s)
Al-Shyoukh, M. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA ; Hoi Lee

A fully-integrated soft-start circuit for voltage regulators is presented in this brief. A soft-start strategy based on an extremum selector and a linearly ramped-up reference is developed to prevent any massive in-rush current through the power device during the start-up phase of the regulator. The strategy is realized by a compact on-chip circuit that requires no external components and has minimal transistor overhead, thereby minimizing the implementation area and the cost of the overall regulator. The linearly ramped-up reference is created through the use of nonlinear MOS capacitors available in a low-cost bulk CMOS technology. The proposed soft-start circuit has been implemented in a 0.35-μm bulk CMOS technology as part of a 50-mA linear regulator. The proposed circuit occupies 0.013 mm2 on silicon, which corresponds to about 13% of the total area of the linear regulator. The soft-start circuit enables the output voltage of the regulator to be linearly ramped up to the steady state under different load currents and charging currents.

Published in:

Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2010

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