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Texas Instruments Powering Cortex-M4 MCUs Using the High Efficiency DCS-Control Topology Application notes
Application Report
SPMA066 – February 2014
Powering Tiva™ C Series Microcontrollers Using the High
Efficiency DCS-Control™ Topology
Ashish Ahuja and Chris Glaser
ABSTRACT
The new Tiva C Series ARM® Cortex™–M4 family of versatile microcontrollers provides prolific
connectivity peripherals, such as the industry's first integrated Ethernet MAC and PHY, advanced analog
integration and hardware floating-point performance. The TM4C123x and TM4C129x family of
microcontrollers can be configured to operate in different power modes such as hibernation mode, deepsleep mode, sleep mode and run mode to optimize the balance between power consumption and
performance to suit a wide range of end-applications. High-efficiency at both very low power consumption
(deep-sleep mode and hibernation mode) and high performance (run mode at full system clock speed)
has become indispensable for modern applications. Moreover, in handheld, battery-operated applications
that simultaneously connect, communicate and control, high-efficiency power management is imperative to
extend the battery stand-by time. This application report presents an ultra-low IQ (4.8 µA) power supply
solution for Tiva C Series devices using the TPS62177, a high efficiency synchronous step-down DC-DC
converter, based on the DCS-Control (Direct Control with Seamless Transition into Power Save Mode)
topology. The TPS62177 interfaces seamlessly with Tiva C Series devices' low power modes, meeting the
power requirements of embedded systems driven from 2- to 6-cell lithium batteries, as well as USB ports
and higher voltage AC adaptors.
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5
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Contents
Introduction ..................................................................................................................
Tiva C Series MCUs Power Requirements ..............................................................................
TPS62177 Power Supply Solution ........................................................................................
Conclusion ...................................................................................................................
References ...................................................................................................................
1
2
2
6
6
Introduction
The current consumed by Tiva C Series devices can vary from a few micro amperes to tens of milliamperes, depending on several factors in the end-application such as the mode of operation, system
clock frequency, number of peripherals being clocked at a given time, drive strength of GPIOs and number
of GPIOs being used to drive loads. The TPS62177 provides a single-chip switch mode power supply
solution that dynamically enters Power Save Mode for light loads to maintain high efficiency across the
entire load current range of Tiva C Series devices. This power convertor also features a SLEEP mode (not
to be confused with the Sleep mode of the microcontroller) and Shutdown mode to dramatically reduce the
quiescent current.
Tiva, DCS-Control are trademarks of Texas Instruments.
Cortex is a trademark of ARM Limited.
ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Limited.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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1
Tiva C Series MCUs Power Requirements
2
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Tiva C Series MCUs Power Requirements
The Tiva C Series MCUs have very straightforward power supply requirements. A single channel, 3.3-V
power supply can power both the digital (VDD) and analog (VDDA) power rails of the microcontroller. For
proper device operation, the power supply voltage must remain between the minimum (3.15 V) and
maximum (3.63 V) voltages specified in the datasheet at all times. The current required by this single
supply is application dependent but is usually no more than 50 mA. For current consumption across the
entire operating range at different clock frequencies and temperatures, see the device-specific
microcontroller data sheet.
Additionally, the Tiva C Series microcontrollers may be powered with two separate power supplies to
operate in hibernation mode without VDD3ON mode. In hibernation mode, the core, clocking system and
all peripherals (except the hibernation module) are powered down, thereby dramatically reducing the
overall power consumption. The hibernation module, which features an integrated 32-bit real-time clock
(RTC), can remain powered on using an auxiliary power source or main power rail to detect a variety of
system wake-up events. Typically, a coin cell battery is used as an auxiliary power supply and is
connected to the VBAT pin of the microcontroller through an RC filter.
3
TPS62177 Power Supply Solution
The TPS62177 synchronous switch mode power converter is based on the DCS-ControlTM topology, an
advanced regulation topology that combines the advantages of hysteretic, voltage-mode and current-mode
control including an AC loop directly associated to the output voltage. Operating from a 4.75-V to 28-V
input voltage and capable of sourcing 500 mA of current at 3.3 V, the TPS62177 provides the required
output power for most systems in which the Tiva C Series devices are used. The DCS-Control topology
supports pulse width modulation (PWM) mode for medium- and heavy-load conditions and a power-save
mode at light loads. The TPS62177 converter seamlessly enters power save mode when the load current
is scaled down, increasing efficiency in light load operation.
The TPS62177 also contains a SLEEP input pin that can be connected to the HIB pin of the Tiva C Series
microcontroller to dynamically increase the efficiency of the power supply when the microcontroller is in
hibernation mode. Furthermore, the output voltage from the TPS62177 provides an acceptable start up
and shutdown behavior for the Tiva C Series microcontrollers. Figure 1 shows the TPS62177 power
supply solution for Tiva C Series devices.
Tiva C Series MCU
VBAT
0.1µ F
Lithium Battery
10µH
4.75 to 28 V
VIN
EN
2.2µF
TPS62177
NC
Decoupling Caps
VOS
VDD
100kŸ
22µF
2x1µF
4x0.1µF
2x0.01µF
PG
AGND
PGND
3.3V
SW
VDDA
1µF
SLEEP
ETP
0.1µF
FB
HIB
Figure 1. TPS62177 Power Supply Solution for the TM4C123x MCU
3.1
TPS62177 Efficiency
System standby and run times are very important in handheld systems such as notebooks and tablets that
are powered by rechargeable batteries. In such systems, typically 2-cell lithium ion batteries are used and
the battery pack voltage is around 7.5 V. The current drawn from the battery when these systems are in
the standby mode determines system standby time. In addition, when these systems are in full operating
mode, the battery current drawn influences system run time.
2
Powering Tiva™ C Series Microcontrollers Using the High Efficiency DCSControl™ Topology
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In the systems referenced above, the TPS62177 provides efficiency in excess of 80% at a 7.5-V input
voltage when a Tiva C Series device consumes more than 1 mA. The TPS62177’s SLEEP mode can be
activated by directly connecting the HIB pin of Tiva C Series device to the SLEEP pin of the TPS62177, as
shown in Figure 1, while the microcontroller is configured to operate in hibernation mode. SLEEP mode
increases the efficiency at load current less than ~1 mA. For example, at 10-µA load current, the efficiency
in SLEEP mode is about 35% compared to about 15% in non-SLEEP power save mode reducing the
current drawn from the battery by 55% from 29 µA to 13 µA. Figure 2 shows the efficiency curve of the
TPS62177 at a 7.5-V input voltage, while Table 1 lists this same efficiency at the typical operating points
of the TM4C123x MCU. The MCU current in the table refers to the combined IDD and IDDA currents, while
the battery current refers to the current into the TPS62177 power supply.
100
90
80
Efficiency [%]
70
MCU Deep Sleep
Mode
MCU Sleep
Mode
MCU Run
Mode
60
50
40
30
20
SLEEP
10
non-SLEEP Power Save
MCU Hibernate Mode
0
0.001
0.010
0.100
1.000
Iout [mA]
10.000
100.000
1000.000
Figure 2. Efficiency of the TPS62177 at a 7.5-V Input Voltage
Table 1. TM4C123x MCU Operating Points, Efficiency, and Battery Current at 25°C
(1)
Mode
Run
Sleep
Deep Sleep
Hibernate
MCU Current
Consumption IDD + IDDA
47.81 mA
(80-MHz system clock
from Main Oscillator and
PLL)
9.67 mA
(16-MHz system clock
from Precision Internal
Oscillator)
1.35 mA
(30-kHz system clock from
Low Frequency Internal
Oscillator)
1.38 µA
(external wake, RTC
disabled)
TPS62177 Mode
Power Save
Power Save
Power Save
SLEEP
Efficiency (%)
88
87
84
6.4 (2)
Battery Current at 7.5-V
Input Voltage
23.9 mA
4.89 mA
0.71 mA
9.5 µA
(1)
(2)
The parametric values in this table are preliminary. For the most up-to-date electrical characteristics, see the device-specific data sheet.
If the TPS62177's SLEEP mode were not used, the battery current consumption in Hibernate Mode would be 28.7 µA--an increase of
302%.
3.2
TPS62177 SLEEP Mode Entry and Exit
The efficiency in hibernation mode can be greatly increased by connecting the HIB output of the Tiva C
Series device to the SLEEP input of the TPS62177. This connection is not required for either device, but
doing so prolongs the system standby time in battery powered applications. The TPS62177’s efficiency in
SLEEP mode is improved by both a reduction of its quiescent current as well as its switching frequency,
which is shown by the inductor current in Figure 3 and Figure 4.
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TPS62177 Power Supply Solution
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For proper operation of the microcontroller, VDD must always be within the operating voltage range as
specified in the device-specific data sheet. Some power supplies may not offer the required output voltage
regulation during a change in load, resulting in a voltage overshoot or undershoot. Figure 3 shows the
TM4C123x MCU exiting hibernation mode, while Figure 4 shows the TM4C123x MCU entering entering its
hibernation mode (and entering the TPS62177’s SLEEP mode). In both scenarios, the 3.3-V supply
voltage stays within the operating voltage range as specified in the device-specific microcontroller’s data
sheet.
3.3 V
Figure 3. TM4C123x MCU Exiting Hibernate Mode
Timescale
Channel 1
Channel 2
Channel 4
50 µsec/div
HIB (2V/div)
VDD (50mV/div)
Inductor Current (200mA/div)
3.3 V
Figure 4. TM4C123x MCU Entering Hibernate Mode
4
Timescale
Channel 1
Channel 2
Channel 4
50 µsec/div
HIB (2V/div)
VDD (50mV/div)
Inductor Current (200mA/div)
Powering Tiva™ C Series Microcontrollers Using the High Efficiency DCSControl™ Topology
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3.3
TPS62177 Startup and Shutdown Behavior
The power supply must start up and shutdown properly when powered through the system’s source
impedance and limit the output voltage overshoot within the limits specified in the device-specific
microcontroller’s data sheet.
Figure 5 and Figure 6 show the start up and shutdown behavior, respectively, of the circuit in Figure 1
when powered from a typical USB 5-V input voltage. The 3.3-V power supply voltage does not overshoot
on start up and is monotonic during both start up and shutdown.
Figure 5. TM4C123x MCU Circuit Start Up From 5 V
Timescale
Channel 1
Channel 2
500 µsec/div
VIN (1V/div)
VDD (1V/div)
Figure 6. TM4C123x MCU Circuit Shutdown From 5 V
Timescale
Channel 1
Channel 2
1 msec/div
VIN (1V/div)
VDD (1V/div)
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Conclusion
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All systems have some impedance from the power source to the microcontroller power supply. This
source impedance can come from the impedances of any combination of power supply cables, batteries,
sense resistors or fuses, power switches, connectors, and so forth. This source impedance may cause
difficulty during the start up of some power supplies. Figure 7 shows the Figure 1 circuit starting with a
very high 10-Ω source impedance. Even with this high source impedance, the output voltage comes up
monotonically and without overshoot. Though the input voltage drops during start up due to inrush
currents during turn on, this drop is not high enough to affect the smooth turn on of the TPS62177.
Figure 7. TM4C123x MCU Circuit Start Up From 5 V With 10-Ω Source Impedance
4
Timescale
Channel 1
Channel 2
5 msec/div
VIN (1V/div)
VDD (1V/div)
Conclusion
Tiva C Series microcontrollers provide a high-performance embedded processing solution for industrial
and home automation applications that simultaneously connect, communicate and control. When
combined with the TPS62177 DCS-Control power supply, numerous end-equipments can achieve longer
battery run time due to the complementarity of each device’s power saving modes. This simple and easy
to use combination provides a high-performance, high-efficiency system solution for the latest handheld
battery-powered devices.
5
References
•
•
•
•
6
TM4C123x MCU Data Sheet
(http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/microcontroller/tiva_arm_cortex/c_series/tech_docs.page)
TM4C123x MCU Errata
(http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/microcontroller/tiva_arm_cortex/c_series/tech_docs.page)
TPS62175, TPS62177 28V, 0.5A Step-Down Converter with Sleep Mode Data Sheet (SLVSB35)
DCS-Control Landing Page: www.ti.com/dcs-control
Powering Tiva™ C Series Microcontrollers Using the High Efficiency DCSControl™ Topology
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