Maxim > Design Support > Technical Documents > Application Notes > Power-Supply Circuits > APP 2040
Keywords: forward converter, isolated supply, current mode, pwm controller
50W Current-Mode Forward Converter Design with
the MAX8540
Sep 01, 2003
Abstract: This application note details the design of a 50-watt, isolated, forward converter, using the
MAX8540 synchronizable, high-frequency, current-mode PWM controller. Design procedures for both the
power stage and controller are presented, along with actual performance measurements.
The converter delivers 20A of Load current at an output voltage of 2.5V. It employs synchronous
rectifiers for secondary rectification. The input voltage range for the converter is 36-75VDC.
This design is available as an evaluation board. The evaluation board demonstrates how easy it is to
implement the features network and telecom applications require. The design methods can easily be
adapted to the design of high performance, full featured off-line power supplies.
Key features of the application are:
300kHz switching frequency
Programmable input UV/OV Protection
Programmable hiccup current limit or latch mode overcurrent protection
Programmable maximum duty cycle clamp with feedforward
Programmable slope compensation with single resistor
Synchronization to external clock
Adjustable current limit threshold
Active low-enable feature for easy turn on/off of converter
Internal leading edge blanking on the current sense pin
Output overvoltage protection
Space-saving 16 pin QSOP
Description of Application Circuit Operation
Figure 1 shows the circuit diagram of a 2.5V, 20 A isolated forward converter that uses the MAX8540
current mode controller (U1). At startup, the total capacitance at the Vcc pin is charged through
MOSFET Q7 and the parallel combination of resistors R30 and R22 from the dc input voltage VIN. When
Vcc exceeds the undervoltage lockout threshold of the MAX8540, it goes through the soft-start mode
and pulses of gradually increasing duty cycle are applied to the gate drive IC, U8. The MOSFET Q1
therefore starts to switch the input DC voltage across the power transformer T1, used to provide isolation
and to step down the input DC voltage to the required level. (Selection of power transformer turns ratio is
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dealt with in the following section.) Since the energy for driving Q1 comes from the capacitance at Vcc,
the Vcc voltage falls. The hysteresis of the MAX8540 undervoltage lockout feature allows this to happen.
Pulses on the bias winding of transformer T1 are rectified by D1, regulated, and applied to the Vcc pin.
The rectified and regulated bias circuit voltage builds up and prevents the Vcc pin from falling below the
undervoltage lockout threshold. The primary side control continues to operate from the bias winding. The
MAX8515 (U2) is configured to sense the Vcc pin and turn off Q7 at a voltage slightly higher than the
worst-case startup voltage for U1. This avoids unnecessary power dissipation in Q7, R30, and R22.
More Detailed Image
Figure 1. Circuit diagram of 2.5 V, 20 Amp, Isolated Current mode Forward Converter using the
For power transformer T1, the volt-seconds applied to the primary winding during the "ON" time of Q1
should be balanced by the volt-seconds applied during the "OFF" time, in order to maintain the
operating point for the flux in the core. This is achieved by employing D2 and a "demagnetizing winding"
whose number of turns equally the primary turns, and is connected with polarity as shown in the
schematic. When Q1 turns off, D2 conducts the magnetizing current and the polarity of the applied
voltage to the demagnetizing winding causes the magnetizing current to decay to zero. Since the
magnitude of voltage applied during the ON and OFF times is identical, the ON time equals the time
taken for the magnetizing current to decay to zero and "reset" the core. This limits the duty cycle to a
maximum value of 50%, beyond which proper reset of the core will not occur, leading to saturation of the
The high frequency switching waveform appearing across the primary of T1 is stepped down by T1 and
rectified by synchronous rectifiers Q2, Q8, Q3 and Q9. The forward synchronous rectifiers Q2, Q8 are
self-driven from the secondary winding of T1. The freewheeling rectifiers Q3, Q9 are driven with an
inverted, suitably delayed version of the gate drive pulses to Q1, using transformer T2. Q5 provides for
fast turn off of Q3, Q9. The rectified pulse train is applied to the output L-C filter L1, C11, C12, C13 and
C26. The output voltage of the L-C filter is the Average value of the rectified pulse train. For a fixed
frequency switching scheme as implemented in the MAX8540, the output voltage is proportional to the
"ON" time of the rectified pulse train. The feedback circuit consisting of U4 (LMX321), U5 (LP2980), and
U7 (MAX8515) perform the function of regulating the output voltage for load and dc input voltage
variations. U4 is a low dropout linear regulator that provides a fixed bias for the secondary side feedback
circuit. The output voltage is sensed by resistor divider R12, R11 and is applied to the inverting input of
op-amp U4. U7 provides the reference voltage to the non-inverting pin of U4. At start-up the reference is
applied through an R-C delay (R36, C29) so as to produce a smooth output voltage start-up waveform.
The error between the reference and the output voltage drives the (pins 1, 2) LED portion of optocoupler
U3, which couples the error signal across the isolation boundary. The phototransistor (pins 8, 7 of U3)
produces a current that depends on the current transfer ratio of U3 and adjusts the voltage at the OPTO
pin of U1 to program the peak primary current and therefore the output current required to produce the
desired output voltage. The primary current is sensed by means of resistor R8. U6 (MAX8515) provides
the output overvoltage protection feature for the converter. When the output voltage exceeds 2.87 volts,
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the OUT pin of U6 goes low and drives the (pins 3,4) LED portion of U3 to turn on Q4 and shutdown the
converter. This initiates a fresh start-up cycle for the converter.
Design of Power Stage Components
Transformer Design
Once the required core size for the given power output, switching frequency, flux density, and
temperature rise have been established, the primary to secondary turns ratio is estimated. In the typical
application circuit, the maximum allowed duty ratio is 50%, due to the transformer core reset scheme
employed. Therefore the primary to secondary turns-ratio n s /np should be based on the lowest
operational input voltage, as follows,
where VOUT is the output voltage, VDS is the voltage drop across the synchronous rectifier, D MAX is the
maximum allowable duty ratio (use 0.45 for some safe margin), and VIN MIN is the minimum operational
input voltage. The design for the actual number of primary turns for low voltage, high current "bricks" for
the telecom input voltage range is done by assuming 1 turn for the secondary. This approach is
especially true of the "core-on-board" transformers designed for these applications. The turns-ratio from
primary winding to primary bias winding is given by,
Where VD is the voltage drop across the bias winding diode. At the minimum operational input voltage
the bias voltage should be at least 9V to power up the MAX8540 and it is a good trade-off between the
driving voltage and efficiency.
The reset winding should have the same number of turns of the primary winding, however small gauge
wire can be used because the rms current through the reset winding is very small.
To construct the transformer, one needs to know the rms currents for both primary and secondary
windings. These are given as follows.
where IOUT is the maximum output current.
Once the above parameters are known, the transformer can be designed. Tightly wound the primary and
the reset windings together help to minimize the switching loss due to the leakage inductance at each
time when the transformer is reset. Interleaving primary and secondary windings help to increase the
coupling and reduce the leakage inductance. However, it may increase the cost if the transformer needs
to meet safety requirement. In the typical application circuit however, a standard off-the-shelf transformer
is used. The primary to secondary turns ratio for the selected transformer is 0.188.
Output Inductor Selection
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There are several parameters that must be examined when determining an optimum inductor value. Input
voltage, output voltage, load current, switching frequency and LIR. LIR is the ratio of inductor current
ripple to DC load current. A higher LIR value allows for a smaller inductor, but results in higher losses
and higher output ripple current. A good compromise between size, efficiency and cost is a LIR of 30%.
Once all of the parameters are chosen, the inductor value is determined as follows:
Where VSEC is the voltage on the secondary side of the transformer at which the maximum ripple
voltage is specified and fS is the switching frequency. Choose a standard value close to the calculated
value. For the application circuit, plugging in the values for the above equation, and selecting the
nearest standard inductor results in a value of 2.2µH. Lower inductor values minimize size and cost, but
they also increase the output ripple and reduce the efficiency due to higher peak currents. On the other
hand, higher inductor values increase efficiency, but eventually resistive losses due to extra turns of wire
will exceed the benefit gained from lower AC current levels. For any area-restricted applications, find a
low-core-loss inductor having the lowest possible DC resistance. Ferrite cores are often the best choice.
The chosen inductor's saturation current rating must exceed the expected peak inductor current (IPEAK ).
Consult the inductor manufacturer for saturation current ratings. Determine IPEAK as:
where VSEC is the maximum secondary side voltage.
Output Capacitor Selection
As in any high-frequency power supply, the output filter capacitors must meet very low ESR and ESL
requirements. At the 300kHz frequency, the most favorable technologies are ceramic capacitors and
polymer capacitors (POSCAPs). The key selection parameters for the output capacitor are capacitance,
ESR, ESL and the voltage rating requirements. It may be noted that capacitance, ESR and voltage rating
are also temperature dependent. These parameters affect the overall stability, output ripple voltage and
transient response of the DC-DC converter. The output ripple occurs due to variations in the charge
stored in the output capacitor, the voltage drop due to the capacitor's ESR, and the voltage drop due to
the capacitor's ESL. Calculate the output voltage ripple due to the output capacitance, ESR and ESL as:
Where the output ripple due to output capacitance, ESR, and ESL are:
And IP-P the peak-to-peak inductor current is:
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The peak values estimated by the above equations for the three components of ripple voltage are not in
phase, and therefore cannot be added algebraically. Usually, one of the ripple components dominates
the others and can be used for initial capacitor selection. As a rule, a smaller ripple current results in
less output voltage ripple. Since the inductor ripple current is a factor of the inductor value, the output
voltage ripple decreases with larger inductance. Load transient response depends on the selected output
capacitors. During a load transient, the output instantly changes by ESR x ILOAD. Before the controller
can respond, the output deviates further, depending on the inductor and output capacitor values. After a
short time, the controller responds by regulating the output voltage back to its nominal state. The
controller response time depends on the closed-loop bandwidth. A higher bandwidth yields a faster
response time, thus preventing the output from deviating further from its regulating value. For the
application circuit, 3 x 680µF, POSCAPs are used, each with an ESR of .035 Ω.
Input Capacitor Selection
The input capacitor (CIN) reduces the current peaks drawn from the battery or input power source. The
impedance of the input capacitor at the switching frequency should be less than that of the input source
so that high-frequency switching currents are supplied by the input capacitor rather than from the source.
The input capacitor must meet the ripple current requirement (IRMS ) imposed by the switching currents.
Non-tantalum chemistries (ceramic, aluminum, or organic) are preferred due to their resistance to powerup surge currents. IRMS is calculated as follows:
where N is the primary to secondary turns ratio. For the forward converter, VIN is the minimum input
voltage for designs where the maximum duty ratio is less than 0.5, and the value of input voltage at
which the duty ratio equals 0.5 for designs with maximum duty ratio greater than 0.5. Choose input
capacitors that have a higher ripple current rating than the calculated value. For the application circuit, 3
x 0.47uF/100V ceramic caps are used.
Primary MOSFET Selection
The MAX8540 typically drives an n-channel MOSFET power switch. The maximum drain voltage,
maximum R DS(ON) and total gate switching charge are the parameters involved in choosing the FET.
The maximum gate switching charge is an important factor defining the power consumption, since the
product of the switching frequency and the total gate charge is the current consumption of the MAX8540
controller. R DS(ON) is the parameter that determines the total conduction power losses in the switch and
the choice depends on the expected efficiency and the cooling and mounting method. The maximum
drain voltage requirements can be different depending on the transformer reset scheme used. For the
forward converter show in the application circuit, a simple demagnetizing winding based reset scheme is
used, wherein the maximum voltage stress on the MOSFET switch is 2 times the highest input voltage.
Allowing for leakage inductance spike, a 200V MOSFET should be used. The MOSFET should also
handle the RMS current associated with the forward topology. The current through the MOSFET is
determined as:
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A MOSFET with the lowest total gate charge and the lowest R DS(ON) for the maximum drain voltage
expected (plus some safety factor) is the best choice. The choice of package depends on the application,
the total power and the cooling methods available. For the Application circuit, based on the above
considerations, IRF640 MOSFET, 200 Volts, 18 Amps, R DS(ON) =0.18Ω is chosen.
Secondary Synchronous Rectifier Selection
The typical Application circuit uses synchronous rectifier for both the forward and the freewheeling
rectifiers on the secondary side. The forward synchronous rectifier is self-driven from the secondary
winding, and freewheeling rectifier is driven from a gate drive transformer with signals generated by the
controller IC. The voltage rating for the synchronous rectifiers is equal to the maximum secondary
voltage plus a margin for spike due to leakage inductance. Switching losses in this topology are not an
issue due to the lower Drain-Source voltages. For synchronous rectifiers, the power dissipation is mainly
due to conduction losses. The power dissipation is calculated as:
for the freewheeling rectifier, and
for the forward synchronous rectifier. Choose MOSFETs with R DS(ON) such that an acceptable junction
temperature is achieved for the estimated power dissipation. Note the synchronous rectifiers' maximum
junction temperature depends on the thermal resistance that will be realistically achieved with the device
packaging, layout and cooling methods used. In the application circuit, 2 x IRF7832, 30V, 20A,
R DS(ON) =4mΩ @ Vgs=10V MOSFETs are used for both forward and freewheeling synchronous
Design of Component Values for the MAX8540 Controller
OV Threshold
The MAX8540 includes an over-voltage protection feature that turns off the external MOSFET when the
input voltage exceeds the user-set threshold. Connect a resistor divider from the system input to GND
with OV connected to the center to set the over-voltage protection trip point. The threshold voltage for
OV is 3.021V (typ).
where VOV is the OV threshold, VIN(MAX) is the over-voltage trip-point, R1 is the resistor from the
system input to OV and R2 is the resistor from OV to GND.
UV Threshold
The MAX8540 also includes an under-voltage sensing input. The IC holds the external MOSFET low
until UV reaches its threshold (1.25V typ). Once the threshold has been reached, the circuit enters softstart and brings the output into regulation. Connect a resistor divider from the system input to GND with
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UV at the center to set the under-voltage protection trip point.
where VUV is the UV threshold, VIN(MIN) is the under-voltage trip-point, R1 is the resistor from the
system input to UV and R2 is the resistor from UV to GND.
An alternate method used in the application circuits for setting the over-voltage and under-voltage trip
points is demonstrated in Figure 2. Use 36.5kΩ for the bottom resistor (R3). R2 and R1 are calculated
as follows:
Where VIN(MIN) is the under-voltage trip point, VIN(MAX) is the over-voltage trip point, VUV is the UV
threshold (1.25V typ) and VOV is the OV threshold (3.021V typ). R1 should consist of two equal value
resistors in series to protect against single point failure.
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Figure 2. Output voltage at startup using the ON/OFF feature of 8540.
Table 1. Typical specifications of UV/OV and the actual on/off hysteresis of input voltage.
UV voltage specs VIN Off Window (LTP) VIN On Window (UTP)
OV voltage specs VIN Off Window (UTP) VIN On Window (LTP)
Assume that 1.250V at UV/OV is scaled to 34.34V for 48V bus and 17.17V for 24V bus.
For achieving the input OVP and input UVP trip points as shown in Table 1, the above equations results
in R1=965k, R2=402Ω, and R3=36.5k.
Switching Frequency and Synchronization
The MAX8540 oscillator operates in two modes: stand-alone or synchronized (sync). A single input,
FREQ/SYNC, doubles as the attachment point for the frequency programming resistor and as the
synchronization input. The mode recognition is automatic, based on the signal applied to FREQ/SYNC. In
stand-alone mode, an external resistor connected from FREQ/SYNC to GND sets the operating
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frequency. A 1.25V source is internally applied to FREQ/SYNC and the oscillator frequency is
proportional to the current out of FREQ/SYNC through the programming resistor. The operating
frequency is determined as:
The MAX8540 also synchronizes with an external oscillator. Drive FREQ/SYNC with a square wave with
a positive pulse width of at least 200ns and a minimum pulse amplitude of 3V plus the VF of the external
diode. The maximum duty cycle of the external signal allowed is 55%. The MAX8540 synchronizes to
frequencies between 200kHz and 1MHz, however, the signal must be within ±30% of the frequency set
by the external resistor at FREQ/SYNC. Frequency set resistor R4 from the above is calculated to be
32.4k. An R-C filter as specified in the application circuit should be connected across R4 for nose
Maximum Duty Cycle
Set the maximum duty cycle at the minimum system input voltage (VIN(MIN) ) connecting a resistor from
MAXDTY to GND. The maximum duty cycle is inversely proportional to the voltage at UV. As the voltage
on UV increases the duty cycle decreases. The maximum duty cycle is internally limited to 80% at all
switching frequencies. The MAXDTY resistor is determined as:
The range of valid resistor values for R MAXDTY is from 24.3kΩ to 130kΩ. For the application circuit, a
value of 80.6k is chosen to limit the duty ratio to within 50%.
N-Channel MOSFET Driver
The DRV output drives an N-channel MOSFET in low power applications. In high power applications, the
gate driver internal to the MAX8540 may not be capable of driving the external MOSFET efficiently and
an external gate driver may be required. In this situation, connect DRV to the input of the external gate
Slope Compensation
The MAX8540 is a current-mode device and requires slope compensation for proper operation. To
provide slope compensation, connect a resistor from SCOMP to GND (RSCOMP ). The value of R SCOMP
is determined as following:
For applications using a synchronous rectifier in the output, set the slope compensation equal to the
negative slope of the output inductor. R SCOMP is equal to:
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Where dVRAMP/dt = 2.5V × fS , R SUM =25kΩ, N is the turns ratio np/ns of the primary to secondary, L1 is
the output inductance, VOUT is the output voltage, fS is switching frequency, and RCS is the currentsense resistance. For the application circuit, the above equations yield a value of R SCOMP =30.9k. This
amount of slope compensation may not be required for converters where the Duty Ratio is less than 0.5,
and therefore sub-harmonic oscillations are not a problem. It is to be noted that the more the slope
compensation added, the converter tends to behave like a voltage mode converter. Therefore the
required amount of slope compensation should be added. For converters where Duty cycle is less than
0.5, adding a small amount of slope to the current signal improves operation at low load currents.
For applications where a diode is used in the output instead of the synchronous rectifier, the slope
compensation resistor is then equal to:
where VF is the diode voltage drop.
The soft-start feature allows converters built using the MAX8540 to apply power to the load in a
controllable soft ramp, thus reducing start-up surges and stresses. It also determines power-up
sequencing when several converters are used. Upon power turn-on, SS acts as a current sink to
discharge any capacitance connected to it. Once the voltage at VCC has exceeded its lockout value, SS
then charges the external capacitor (CSS) allowing the converter output voltage to ramp up. Full output
voltage is reached in approximately 440ms/µF. Since the application circuit has a secondary soft start
which is used to control the output voltage at start-up, the SS delay is set to be minimal. A delay of
660uS is set using a 1500pf capacitor.
Two types of current limit schemes can be implemented with the MAX8540. They are the "Hiccup mode"
and "Latch" mode. The CS signal provides feedback on the current ramp through the main external
MOSFET. The voltage on CS is monitored by the MAX8540. The cycle-by-cycle current-limit feature
abbreviates the on-time of the external MOSFET in the event that the voltage at CS is greater than the
threshold voltage set by ILIM. Set the current-limit threshold using a resistor divider from REF to GND
with ILIM connected to the center. The current-limit threshold is determined as:
Where VREF is the 5V reference and R26 and R10 are the external resistors. Use 10kΩ for R16 and vary
R26 to change the threshold. For the Application circuit, R26 was adjusted to 205k to set the current
limit at 125% of the full load current. To select Hiccup mode, connect capacitors to SKTON and SKTOFF
to program the hiccup mode on- and off-time. When a cycle-by-cycle event is detected, the IC charges
the capacitor at SKTON. The capacitor continues to charge as long as the CS voltage is greater than the
ILIM threshold voltage. Once the voltage on SKTON reaches its threshold voltage, the MAX8540 begins
skipping switching cycles for a time determined by the capacitance connect to SKTOFF. Once this time
period has elapsed, the IC begins to switch for the time period set by the capacitance connected to
SKTON. This process continues until the output short or overload condition is removed.
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To select latched mode, connect SKTOFF to REF. In this mode, if the hard short or overload exceeds
the time period set by the capacitance at SKTON, the output is latched off. To unlatch the output, toggle
active-low EN or cycle the input power to VCC.
The hiccup mode is chosen for the Application circuit. See the SKTON and SKTOFF section below for
details on setting the hiccup mode periods.
The capacitance, C SKTON, determine the time period allowed before the short-circuit current-limit
initiates. Once the CS voltage exceeds the ILIM threshold, the capacitor at SKTON begins to charge.
The capacitor continues to charge until the SKTON threshold voltage is reached or the over-current
event is removed. This feature allows for the higher currents required during start-up to bring the IC
online. Set C SKTON in order to allow sufficient time for start-up. The required capacitance at SKTON is
determined as:
C SKTON=t ON /10³
Where tON is in ms and C SKTON is in µF. The allowable range for C SKTON is 100pF to 0.01µF
The capacitance at SKTOFF determines the time period that the external MOSFET is turned off during
an over-current event. Once the SKTON time period is exceeded, the SKTOFF capacitor charges. Once
VSKTOFF reaches its threshold, the IC begins to switch again. C SKTOFF is determined as:
Where tOFF is in ms and C SKTOFF is in µF. The allowable range for C SKTOFF is 1000pF to 1µF. For the
Application circuit, C SKTON=0.0047uF and C SKTOFF =.068uF are used.
Pull VSKTOFF to VREF through a 10kΩ pull-up resistor to enable the latch-off feature. In this mode, once
the SKTON time has elapsed, the IC is latched off. The circuit will remain off until active-low EN is
toggled, or the input power is toggled.
Since current mode control is employed using the MAX8540 current mode controller, the power stage of
the forward converter exhibits a single output pole due to the output capacitor and load combination,
along with a zero due to the ESR of the output capacitor. The goal of the compensator design is to
achieve a single slope of -20 db/ decade with a phase margin greater than 45 degrees at the crossover
frequency. To achieve a good dc regulation, a high low-frequency gain is another requirement for the
compensator. To achieve the above requirements, the compensator should have one zero, one pole and
an integrator. The type 2 scheme readily achieves this. For the Forward converter in the Application
circuit, the open loop gain under current mode control is given by the expression,
where G OPTO is the optocoupler gain, R L the load resistance, C14, C15, C24, R27, R6 and R14 and
R11 are the reference designators are used in the MAX8540 Typical Application Circuits. C OUT is the
total output capacitance and R ESR is the output capacitors' ESR. R CS is the current sense resistor
designated as R8 in the Application circuit.
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The frequency that the output pole and zero occur at is determined as:
From the above equations, the foutputpole and foutputzero are determined as 624Hz and 6.9kHz
Calculate the compensation components using the following method:
First, determine the desired bandwidth (fBW) of the system. The bandwidth (crossover frequency) will
determine the speed that the MAX8540 will respond to changes in the output caused by load transients.
A bandwidth of 5kHz is chosen for the Application circuit. Unity gain is desired at fBW. Therefore, T(s) at
f BW must be equal to 1. Choose C14=0.1µF, s=2p*f BW and set the loop gain to unity in equation for loop
gain T(s) to determine R11. For a single active pole at the crossover frequency,
where n P is the number of primary turns, n S is the number of secondary turns, and G OPTO is the gain of
the optoisolator used. The value for R11 is obtained as 31.8k from the above equation.
Place the R27 zero to compensate for the pole due to load resistance and output capacitor. The location
of the zero is selected to be 3 times higher than the pole location. Exact cancellation of the pole results
in a large time constant R27.C14 since the zero has to be placed at a lower frequency. This results in
sluggish response during large load transients when the controller saturates. R27 is found to be 910 Ω
using the following equation:
The pole in the controller due to C15 and R27 is used to cancel the ESR zero. A value of C15=.022µF is
obtained from the following equation:
The above method though simple gives compensator values that serve as a good starting point only.
During actual testing with a network analyzer, the crossover frequency was found to be lower than
desired. This error results from the equation for R11 which assumes exact cancellation of the converter
poles and zeros by those of the controller. Therefore R11 was reduced to 15K in order increase gain and
achieve the desired crossover frequency. Also optocoupler gain and Phase shift is not considered in this
simple design method. The optocoupler exhibits significant phase shift around the crossover and
therefore reduces the phase margin. The pole used to compensate the ESR zero in the controller was
actually removed in order to achieve the required phase margin of 45 degrees. The final values for the
compensator are R11=15k, R27= 910, C14=0.1µF, C15=not used.
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Output Overvoltage Protection
Output overvoltage protection is implemented by sensing the overvoltage condition using the MAX8515
(U6) as a comparator, coupling the fault signal through an optocoupler (U3), and pulling down the UV
input of the MAX8540. The MAX8540 turns off the drive pulses and goes through a fresh startup cycle
repeatedly till the overvoltage condition is removed.
Layout Guidelines
All connections carrying pulsed currents must be very short, be as wide as possible and have a ground
lane behind them whenever possible. The inductance of these connections must be kept to an absolute
minimum due to the high di/dt of the currents in high frequency switching power converters. In the
development of prototyping process, multipurpose boards, wire wrap and similar constructive practices
are not suitable for these types of circuits; attempts to use them will fail. Instead, used milled PC boards
with a ground plane or equivalent techniques. Current loops must be analyzed in any layout proposed
and the internal area kept to a minimum to reduce radiated EMI. The use of automatic routers is
discouraged for PC board layout generation in the board area where the high-frequency switching
converters are located. Designers should carefully review the layout. In particular, pay attention to the
ground connections. Ground planes must be kept as intact as possible. The ground planes for the power
section of the converter should be kept separate from the logic ground planes except for a connection at
the least noisy section of the power ground plane. The power-line filter capacitor and the ground return
of the power switch or current sensing resistor must be close together. All ground connections must
resemble a star system as much as practical. Thermal management is another important issue to be
considered in the design of converters such as that described above. The temperature rise of the
components is a strong function of the cooling methods and packaging techniques used. Forced cooling
is definitely required for the Application circuit to deliver full power reliably.
Measurements on the MAX8540 EVKIT
Some important measurements taken on the MAX8540 evaluation kit are presented here. They are:
1. Converter Efficiency (Figure 3)
2. Transient Response (Figure 4), and
3. Output voltage at startup (Figure 2) employing the ON/OFF feature of the MAX8540.
Figure 3. Converter efficiency vs load current.
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Figure 4. Output voltage deviation for step load increase and decrease. Load current slew rate is
approximately 0.1 /µS.
The design of a 2.5 Volt, 20A converter using the MAX8540 current mode controller has been
discussed, and a typical application circuit along with the Bill of materials for the same has been
presented. Features particularly desirable for the network and telecom industry incorporated in the
MAX8540 have been demonstrated in the Application circuit.
Bill of Material:
C1, C2, C3 Input filtering capacitor
VCC filtering capacitor
Soft start capacitor
Decoupling for U2
VCC bypass capacitor
Bias filtering capacitor
Snubber capacitor
Filter for MAXDTY pin
C11, C12,
Output filtering capacitor
Loop compensation
Loop compensation
Decoupling capacitor
REF bypass capacitor
Time delay capacitor
Time delay capacitor
Gate drive Xfmr Cap
Snubber capacitor
Part Number
0.47uF 100V X7R cer cap (1812),TDK, C4532X7R2A474M
10uF/16V X5R cer cap (1210),Taiyo Yuden EMK325BJ106MN
1500pF/50V X7R cer, (0603), Murata,GRM188R71H152KA01B
0.1uF/25V, cer, X7R, (0603), GRM188R71E104KA01B
0.1uF/50V X7R cer cap (0805), Taiyo Yuden UMK212BJ104KG
1uF/25V, X7R, Taiyo Yuden, TMK316BJ105ML
100pF/630V, Murata, GHM1030R101K630
2200pF/50V X7R cer, (0603), Murata, GRM188R71H222KA01B
680uF/4V/35mΩ, 4TPB680M, POSCAP, Sanyo
0.1uF/25V, cer, X7R, (0603), GRM188R71E104KA01B
Not used
0.1uF/25V, cer, X7R, (0603), GRM188R71E104KA01B
1uF/10V, Taiyo Yuden, LMK107BJ105MA
120pF/50V , COG, ceramic, (0603), GRM1885C1H121JA01B
220pF/50V, COG, ceramic, (0603), GRM1885C1H221JA01B
0.1uF/50V X7R cer cap (0805), Taiyo Yuden UMK212BJ104KG
1500pF/50V, X7R, cer, (0603), GRM188R71H152KA01B
Page 14 of 17
ON time capacitor at
4.7nF/50V, X7R ceramic, (0603), GRM188R71H472KA01B
hiccup mode
OFF time capacitor at
0.068uF/25V, cer, (0603), GRM188R71E683KA01B
hicuup mode
Compensator cap
Not used
Gate drive Xfmr Cap
0.1µF/ X7R ceramic (0805), Taiyo Yuden UMK212BJ104KG
Output filter Capacitor open
Bypass Cap for sec bias 0.1uF/25V, X7R, cer, (0603), GRM188R71E104KA01B
Bypass Cap for sec bias 1uF/10V, Taiyo Yuden, LMK107BJ105MA
Delay cap for sec Ref 1uF/10V, Taiyo Yuden, LMK107BJ105MA
Stabilsing cap for U7
1uF/10V, Taiyo Yuden, LMK107BJ105MA
150pF/50V, X7R ceramic, (0603), GRM1885C1H151JA01B
Open (0603)
Decoupling Cap for
1uF/16V, X7R, (0805), TDK, C2012X7R1C105M
2200pF/50V X7R cer, (0603), Murata, GRM188R71H222KA01B
Filter for current lim Ref 120pF/50V, COG, ceramic, (0603), GRM1885C1H101JA01B
Filter for feedback signal Open (0603)
Decoupling capacitor
0.1uF/25V, cer, X7R, (0603), GRM188R71E104KA01B
80V/100mA Schottky diode, Panasonic MA111CT, Digikey
Rectifying diode
MA111CT-ND, (S-Mini)
Ultrafast rectifier diode 200V/1A, On semiconductor MURA120T3, SMA
Zener diode
BZX399-1V8, 1.8 volt zener, Phillips semiconductor, (SOD-323)
IN4148WS, General Semiconductor, (SOD-323)
IN4148WS, General Semiconductor, (SOD-323)
IN4148WS, General Semiconductor, (SOD-323)
Zener diode
12V Zener diode, Panasonic MA3120CT
IN4148WS, General Semiconductor, (SOD-323)
IN4148WS, General Semiconductor, (SOD-323)
PWM Control IC
MAX8540, current mode, 16 PIN QSOP, MAXIM
OVP comparator
MAX8515, SC-70, MAXIM
Dual Opto-coupler
Dual 70V CTR Photo-transistor (SO-8), Fairchild MOCD217
Secondary control IC
LMX321, SOT223-5, MAXIM
Shunt regulator
MAX8515, SC-70, MAXIM
Gate driver
Dual 2A driver, Texas Instruments #UCC27324D, SO-8
Sec bias LDO
LP2980, 5 volts LDO, National semiconductor
Output inductor
2.2uH/32A, HC2 2R2, Coiltronics
Primary switch
200V/18A N-MOSFET, IR, IRF640NS, (D2PAK)
Forward sync rectifier
30V/20A, N-MOSFET, IR, 2xIRF7832, (SO-8)
Freewheeling sync rect 30V/20A, N-MOSFET, IR, 2xIRF7832W, (SO-8)
PNP transistor
40V 200mA PNP (S0T-23), Fairchild MMBT3906
PNP transistor
40V 200mA PNP (S0T-23), Fairchild MMBT3906
NPN transistor
40V/200mA NPN (SOT89), Central Semi, CXT3904
IRLM110A, SOT223, 100V
Voltage divider resistor 965kΩ 1%, (0805)
Voltage divider resistor 402Ω 1%, (0603)
Voltage divider resistor 36.5kΩ, 1%, (0603)
Frequency set resistor 32.4kΩ, 1%, (0603)
Slope comp resistor
30.9KΩ, 1%, (0603)
Feedback resistor
3k, 1%, (0603)
Time delay resistor
1k, 1%, (0603)
Page 15 of 17
Current sense resistor
Snubber resistor
Current limit resistor
Feedback resister
Feedback resister
Feedback resister
Opto current limit
Base resistor for OVP
Snubber resistor
Pull up for OVP xstr
Time delay resistor
Maximum duty resistor
OVP Opto current limit
Current limit divider
Compensator resistor
Compensator resistor
Secbias resistor
Isolation Transformer
40mΩ, 1%, WSL-2010 .04 1% B43, VISHAY DALE
51.1Ω, 5%, (1206)
205kΩ, 1%, (0603)
15kΩ, 0.5%, (0603)
15kΩ, 0.5%, (0603)
10kΩ, 0.5%, (0603)
500Ω, 1%, (0603)
1kΩ, 5%, (0805)
51.1Ω, 5%, (1206)
1kΩ, 5%, (0603)
1k, 1% (0603)
80.6kΩ, 1%, (0603)
100k, 5%, 0603
10k, 5%, 0603
2.3k, 5%, (2010), 0.5W
330Ω, 5%, (0603)
28k, 5%, (0603)
10k, 5%, (0603)
10k, 1%, (0603)
910Ω, 1%, (0603)
Not used
37.9k, 1%, (0603)
20k, 1%, (0603)
10k, 5%, (0603)
1Ω , 5%, (0603)
5.11k, 5%, (0603)
12k, 0.5%, (0603)
11k, 0.5%, (0603)
9.09k, 5%, (0603)
5.11k, 5%, (0603)
100Ω, 5%, (0603)
10Ω, 5%, (0603)
2.2Ω, 5%, (1206)
2.2Ω, 5%, (1206)
200uH 1:1:0.313:0.188 turn Transformer (12pin Gull Wing) Copper
Electronics, CTX03-16222
Related Parts
Synchronizable, High-Frequency Current- and VoltageMode PWM Controllers for Isolated Supplies
Page 16 of 17
More Information
For Technical Support:
For Samples:
Other Questions and Comments:
Application Note 2040:
APPLICATION NOTE 2040, AN2040, AN 2040, APP2040, Appnote2040, Appnote 2040
Copyright © by Maxim Integrated Products
Additional Legal Notices:
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