Distributed Air Gap LTCC Inductor Reduces Power Consumption of DC-DC Converter When Operating at No/Low Load Condition

Description:
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%.
  
Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Co-Fired Ceramic Inductor with Variable Inductance, and Voltage Regulator Having Same US Utility *United States 11/357,424 7,638,988 2/21/2006 12/29/2009 9/5/2026
Category(s):
Electrical
For Information, Contact:
Li Chen
Licensing Associate
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
(540) 443-9217
lchen@vtip.org
Inventors:
Michele Lim
J.D. van Wyk
Keywords:
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