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Monday, April 19, 2010

Virtual Remote Sense Controller Eliminates Remote Sense Wires


Linear Technology has developed a Virtual Remote Sense DC/DC controller that eliminates the remote sense wires required to compensate for the voltage drop in cables, wires and circuit board trace runs. Voltage drops in wiring and cables that cause load regulation errors are usually corrected by an additional set of sensing wires. The LT4180 continuously interrogates the line impedance and corrects the regulator's output voltage. The device maintains a corrected regulated voltage at the load regardless of current or line impedance. The 3V to 50V input voltage range address a variety of applications, including remote instrumentation, battery charging, wall adaptors, notebook power, surveillance equipment and halogen lighting.
The LT4180 operates with any topology regulator in either isolated or non-isolated power supplies. The output correction is obtained by modulating the output and measuring the incremental change in voltage that occurs with a change in current. Any modulation noise is eliminated by the supply bypass capacitor located at the load.

According to Robert Dobkin, vice president of engineering and CTO for Linear Technology. “The LT4180 provides a new function for power supply designers. Excellent regulation is obtained without sense wires, eliminating the need for point-of-load regulators. Difficult regulation problems such as long wire runs or system retrofits can be accommodated. With halogen lights, the light output drops more quickly than power, so keeping the correct voltage more than compensates for any additional cost of the power supply.” Three temperature grades are available: an extended grade version from -40ºC to 85ºC, an industrial grade version from -40ºC to 125ºC and a military grade option from -55ºC to 125ºC. The 1,000-piece price starts at $2.95 each.
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