The patent's assignee for patent number 8508963 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present specification describes a step-down switching regulator, and more particularly, a step-down switching regulator formed by integrating a high-voltage MOS transistor and a low-voltage MOS transistor in a single semiconductor chip.
"Switching regulators are electrical circuits for stabilizing an output voltage by high-speed on-off operation. When an input voltage is high, conventional switching regulators use high-voltage transistors for withstanding a voltage higher than the input voltage. However, the high-voltage transistors are larger in size, drive a smaller amount of current, and have a slower response speed than low-voltage transistors do.
"Such switching regulators include a switching element in which a largest amount of current flows. By using a NMOS (negative channel metal oxide semiconductor) transistor rather than a PMOS transistor (positive channel metal oxide semiconductor), the switching element can achieve high efficiency in flowing a large amount of electrical current at a high speed.
"However, in a case of a step-down switching regulator, when a NMOS transistor is used for the switching element, a drain of which is directly connected to an input voltage, since a source voltage increases up to about the input voltage when the NMOS transistor is turned on, a gate voltage for turning on the NMOS transistor needs to be greater than the input voltage.
"To address this problem, a related-art switching regulator includes a bootstrap capacitor. The bootstrap capacitor generates a voltage greater than an input voltage to turn on and off the NMOS transistor switching element with the generated voltage.
"However, even though the switching element uses the NMOS transistor, use of high-voltage transistors for all transistors included in the switching regulator results in an increase in chip area and a decrease in response speed.
"Accordingly, there is a need for a technology to provide a step-down switching regulator capable of decreasing chip area and increasing response speed while withstanding high input voltage."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "This patent specification describes a switching regulator, one example of which includes a switching element, a rectifier, a voltage generator, a capacitor, a first drive circuit, and a controller. The switching element is formed of a high-voltage NMOS transistor and turned on and off based on a control signal input to a gate, and configured to charge an inductor with an input voltage not smaller than a withstand voltage of a low-voltage MOS transistor but smaller than a withstand voltage of a high-voltage MOS transistor input to an input terminal. The rectifier is configured to discharge the inductor when the switching element is turned off to stop charging the inductor. The voltage generator is configured to generate a predetermined first power supply voltage not greater than a withstand voltage of the low-voltage MOS transistor. The first drive circuit is formed of a low-voltage MOS transistor and configured to turn the switching element on and off based on the input control signal. The capacitor is connected in parallel with the first drive circuit and configured to store charge from the voltage generator to supply power to the first drive circuit. One end of the capacitor is connected to a junction node between the switching element and the inductor, and the other end of the capacitor is supplied with the first power supply voltage generated by the voltage generator. The controller is configured to generate the control signal for turning on and off the switching element and output the control signal to the first drive circuit, such that the input voltage is converted into a predetermined constant voltage to be output from an output terminal."
For additional information on this patent, see: Sohma, Shohtaroh. Step-Down Switching Regulator Capable of Providing High-Speed Response with Compact Structure. U.S. Patent Number 8508963, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, High Voltage, Semiconductor,
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