Susie Maestre

user Electronics Engineer

city Innovuze Solutions Inc.

  • Forward Converter

  • Created: Oct 02, 2015

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The reference design as shown is a two-transistor forward converter which is a power converter that is based on forward topology. A forward converter is a transformer-isolated and buck-derived DC-DC converter that produces an isolated and controlled DC voltage from the unregulated DC input supply. A forward converter is more energy efficient than the flyback converter when used in low power applications. It is an excellent choice for applications where high efficiency and good power handling capability is required in the 50 to 500W power range. While the popularity of forward topology is based upon many factors, designers have been primarily drawn to its simplicity, performance, and efficiency.

The design utilizes a high power synchronous DC/DC controller, high speed N-channel MOSFET drivers, MOSFETS, and few discrete components. The DC/DC controller incorporates programmable average current limiting, allowing accurate limiting of DC load current independent of inductor ripple current. The IC also incorporates user-adjustable slope compensation for minimization of magnetics at duty cycles up to 90%. On the other hand, the MOSFET drivers contain one noninverting and one inverting driver. These dual drivers are electrically isolated and independent. It offers VCC independent CMOS input thresholds with 1.2V of typical hysteresis. They can levelshift the input logic signal up or down to the rail-to-rail VCC drive for the external MOSFET. This design also utilizes STL110N10F7 N-channel Power MOSFET. The device offers ultra-low capacitances for higher switching frequency operations.

Forward converters are used in a wide variety of applications such as in the personal computer industry in voltage regulation module (VRM) applications to power central processing units. This topology is widely used due to the reduced input and output capacitor ripple current that is gained by interleaving forward converters. The reduction in input and output capacitor RMS currents allows the designer to reduce the input and output capacitor banks that are required for the design.