Regulator delivers smallest size and tightest accuracy for supercapacitor backup

System architects exploring backup power utilising supercapacitor or other energy sources can now achieve the best combination of highest efficiency and smallest size with the Continua MAX38889 2.5V-to-5.5V, 3A reversible buck/boost regulator from Maxim Integrated Products. The latest addition to its Continua family of backup regulators provides what it claims is the industry’s tightest output regulation of 2.5% to support critical applications that require high accuracy.

The MAX38889 features 94% peak efficiency, 9% higher than the closest competitive solution, allowing it to support a longer backup time. Furthermore, at one-third the size, it facilitates easier integration into space-constrained designs.

In applications such as smart utility meters or automotive dashboard cameras, the regulator works in buck mode to charge a backup power source, such as a supercapacitor. When the main power goes away, the regulator reverses direction automatically, boosting the supercapacitor voltage to power the system until the main power is returned.

For convenient adoption, the entire solution is 64% smaller than the nearest competitor (218mm² vs 606mm²), enabling designers to decrease component count, cut board space and save BOM cost. The smaller size also makes it simpler to integrate into new and current designs with tight space constraints. The device regulates backup power for various portable and non-portable applications, such as retail price scanners and surveillance cameras, and others employed in the home, building, automotive, industrial automation and healthcare IoT.

“Maxim’s Continua family of backup voltage regulators uses advanced switching regulator design to deliver bi-directional buck/boost featuring tight output regulation that minimises space while increasing power efficiency,” said Anil Telikepalli, managing director of the Core Products Group at Maxim Integrated. “This is the third product from our Continua line as Maxim strives to enable always-on applications by solving the design engineer’s toughest backup power challenges.”