Distributed Air Gap LTCC Inductor Reduces Power Consumption of DC-DC Converter When Operating at No/Low Load Condition
The utility of a laptop or portable computer critically depends on the period of time it can be used while running on the battery. Hence, the microprocessor enters sleep mode very frequently, i.e. between keystrokes, to converse power. However, when the microprocessor is in the sleep mode, the VRM is still consuming power, though much lower than when it is running at full load. This invention enables significant power consumption relocation of the VRM when the microprocessor is in the sleep mode. This invention can help in significantly lengthening battery usage time of a portable computer. In terms of fabrication and processing complexity and cost, it is very low due to its simple structure, low cost of raw materials, highly simplified processing steps and great potential for manufacturability. The invention, when applied in a DC-DC converter, is able to reduce the converter's power consumption significantly when the DC-DC converter is operating at no/low load condition. Experimental results at switching frequency of 4MHz and input voltage of 5V show a power consumption reduction by more than 50% when compared with two state-of-the-art inductors connected in parallel to achieve a similar inductance value for fair comparison. When the converter is operating at full load (carrying DC current of 12.5A), the use of the invention (LTCC inductor) improves the efficiency by 2.4-3.6%.
Co-Fired Ceramic Inductor with Variable Inductance, and Voltage Regulator Having Same
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Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
J.D. van Wyk
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