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Texas Instruments Using Soft Start with TPS2471x and TPS24720 Application notes
Application Report
SLVA749 – November 2015
Using Soft Start with TPS2471x and TPS24720
Artem Rogachev / Eric Wright
........................................................................................ Power Interface
In some applications, it may be desired to have a constant dv/dt ramp on the output of the TPS2471x to
ensure a constant inrush current. This is often accomplished by adding a capacitor to the gate. This
application note describes several considerations that must be taken into account when using this
Circuit Overview and Considerations
Fundamentally, the dv/dt control is implemented by adding a capacitor from gate to ground as shown
below. The gate pin sources a limited current so the gate pin slowly ramps up. Thus VOUT will slowly ramp
and follow the gate. If the load is capacitive the current will be constant and proportional to the dv/dt of
Figure 1. Operation of Power Limit Engine
Figure 2. Typical Waveforms when Using Soft Start
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SLVA749 – November 2015
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Using Soft Start with TPS2471x and TPS24720
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Recommended Design Procedure
Before switching to this method it’s important to take into account some of the drawbacks and limitations
of this approach.
• There should not be any series resistance between CSS and the Gate pin. Adding this resistance would
lead to undesired behavior during hot short tests.
• This approach results in a slower short circuit response because now the Hot Swap needs to
discharge CSS, which can be a lot bigger than the CGS of the FET.
• This usually requires a larger timer than a typical power limit based start-up approach. Hence the FET
is stressed more during a start into short or a hot short test condition.
• The gate sourcing current will vary depending on the difference between V(SNS,CL) (target current limit or
power limit voltage) and the actual V(SNS). This has to be taken into account when working on such
Recommended Design Procedure
With the above limitations in mind, if soft start is still desired the following procedure can be used. Note
that more detailed design procedure can be performed with a spreadsheet, but this provides a simpler
approach that will ensure a robust design.
• First pick a soft start capacitor that will provide the desired typical output slew rate. Suppose a 1 V/ms
ramp rate was desired. Then the CSS can be computed to 30 nF (30 µA/(1 V/ms)).
• Then the inrush current should be computed, which would depend on the output cap. If the output
capacitor is 1,000 µF, the inrush current will be 1 A (1 V/ms x 1000 µF).
• Next the power limit must be set sufficiently large to ensure that there is sufficient gate current
throughout the start-up process. In general, it is recommended to compute the V(SNS,PLIM,MIN) using
Equation 1. The 6 mV is the recommended over-drive to ensure 20 µA of sourcing current over
process and temperature. Assuming a 1-mΩ sense resistor, V(SNS,PLIM,MIN) of 7 mV is computed.
6 mV
7 mV
Based on this, the lowest value the current should be regulated to is 7 A (7 mV/ 1 mΩ). For a VIN(MAX) of
14 V, this would imply that the power limit should be set to at least 7 A x 14 V = 98 W.
Next, it is important to compute how long the timer will run. Note that the timer runs while VGS is less
than 5.9 V. In addition to CSS, the CGS of the MOSFET needs to be charged as well. Continuing with
the example above and assuming a CGS of 10 nF, a conservative value of the timer run time can be
computed as follows;
5.9 V) u CSS
5.9 V u CGS
14 V
5.9 V u 30 nF
20 µA
5.9 V u 5 nF
20 µA
31.3 ms
Finally the timer should be set to have some margin compared to timer runs. 25% margin is
recommended. In this case, a timer of at least 39 ms would be recommended.
TPS2471x 2.5V to 18V Positive Voltage Power-Limiting Hot-Swap Controllers (SLVSAL2)
Using Soft Start with TPS2471x and TPS24720
Copyright © 2015, Texas Instruments Incorporated
SLVA749 – November 2015
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