Switched-capacitor voltage converters, also known as charge pumps, are electronic circuits used to convert DC voltages to higher or lower levels efficiently. They are widely used in various applications due to their simplicity, compactness, and ability to provide voltage conversion without the need for inductors. Here are some common applications of switched-capacitor voltage converters:
Voltage Level Shifting: One of the primary applications of switched-capacitor voltage converters is voltage level shifting. They can step-up (boost) or step-down (buck) a DC voltage to match the requirements of a particular load or circuit. This is valuable in battery-powered devices or circuits where different components require different voltage levels.
LED Backlighting: Switched-capacitor voltage converters are commonly used in portable devices like smartphones and tablets to drive LED backlights. They help efficiently generate the required voltage levels for the LED backlight, which is crucial in achieving longer battery life.
Display Drivers: In addition to backlighting, switched-capacitor voltage converters are employed in display drivers to provide the necessary voltages for operating the display components such as LCD panels, OLED displays, and e-ink screens.
Audio Amplifiers: Charge pumps are used in audio circuits to generate the required positive and negative voltage supplies for audio amplifiers, enabling the amplification of audio signals.
Voltage Multipliers: Switched-capacitor voltage converters can be configured as voltage multipliers to generate higher output voltages than the input voltage. This is useful in various applications, including power supplies, signal processing circuits, and electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection.
EEPROM and Flash Memory Programming: Charge pumps are utilized in some memory programming circuits to generate the necessary high voltages required for programming EEPROMs and flash memories.
Sensor Biasing: Switched-capacitor voltage converters can provide the correct biasing voltage for various sensors, such as temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and MEMS devices.
Data Converters: In analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs), charge pumps can be used to generate the reference voltage levels required for accurate conversion.
Energy Harvesting: In energy harvesting systems, which convert ambient energy sources like light, heat, or vibration into electrical power, switched-capacitor voltage converters can be employed to boost the harvested voltage to usable levels.
Power Management in Integrated Circuits: Switched-capacitor voltage converters are often integrated into larger ICs to provide internal supply voltages for specific circuit blocks or to regulate voltage levels for efficient power management.
Overall, switched-capacitor voltage converters find widespread use in various electronic devices and systems, playing a crucial role in voltage level conversion and power management.